Feeling Safe in Your RV

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Here’s a great video that talks about feeling more secure. Smartlight 1000

Here’s a cheaper option:

Get a motion sensor light from home depot-$9.00. Use just the sensor and wire it next to your light.

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Chapter 3: Still Getting Ready To Go and Battery Charging/Converters

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Cabin Batteries in parallel. (I’ll explain what that means later)

So, as you have read before, we had an RV that had been neglected and abused by the dealer. So, we take nothing for granted these days.

Today was no different. This dealer had blown up our batteries for both winters they had our RV in their shop to work on it. Winters in Alaska are brutal, so you either have to remove your cabin batteries or you have to make darn sure nothing is putting a load on them. There is this thing called a battery disconnect. Our Coachmen Leprechaun had survived an especially bad winter with just this switch turned off. This switch cuts the voltage drain on the batteries. This also helps prevent their exploding.

So, after the first winter we were told they had blown up our cabin batteries which had been two 6 volt Interstate batteries. Instead of cleaning the battery trays and treating them with enamel that resists corrosion, they just threw the batteries in there and hoped we wouldn’t notice. Smelled battery acid on the whole trip. Complained. They had a mechanic clean the tray with baking soda and paint the tray with enamel.

The next winter, while it was in their shop for some indepth work, they blew them up again. (sigh). How much of a dumbass do you have to be? Forgive me. I digress.

Unfortunately, we had to leave everything as is for evidence reasons in the court case. So, we really didn’t get a good look at what was actually in there. Pulling the batteries out, we found they had installed two different sized batteries. We went to Batteries Plus and discussed this issue in detail. Very dangerous to put two different sizes in there. One looked like an RV battery while the other looked like a car battery. Duh.

So, the first step was to really really clean the battery trays with baking soda, then I treated them with RustOleum. This picture shows the results of that work and also shows the new batteries installed in parallel.

In parallel means the positive connections (red) are connected together between the two batteries by a large cable.  It also means the black terminals are connected by a jumper cable. The cables that jumper them should be heavy duty. That way, when one battery runs out of juice, the other one takes over. You can see the heavy red cable in this picture.

You can see the parallel connection here. You can also see how much I cleaned up the battery tray and coated it with Rustoleum to stop any corrosion or rust from continuing to eat away at the battery tray. It looks pretty good now.

Here’s a simple line diagram to show you what a set of 12 volt batteries look like in parallel.

You can also see the battery clamp that needs to be there to avoid jostling the batteries around during travel.

The engine batteries were still in good shape, so we just cleaned any battery acid residue off of them and put some vaseline on the battery cable terminals and posts on the batteries. We also put vaseline on the posts and cables of the cabin batteries to avoid any further oxidation or corrosion from forming. (I like to use an old artist’s paintbrush for this or q-tips)

Before doing any of the battery install, we had to remember a couple of things:

Turn off all power to the battery compartment. Switch off the main power to the bus and pull all circuit breakers in the breaker panel inside the bus.

Ours is a diesel pusher, and this is located in the engine compartment door.

To ensure you don’t get a zap (shock) from the batteries themselves, hook up the red connections (positive) first then the black connections (grounds) next.

Test your connections with a meter before starting any work to make sure there is no residual voltage. Since we did not know what was working and what wasn’t, it was just an extra safety step for us.

Converters/Inverters and how they can make you a little crazy if you don’t understand how they work.

Magnum Energy Power Converter Unit

Note:  Although your RV may not have exactly the same brand of voltage converter and inverter that ours does, it will work in a very similar way.

After plugging the RV into the outlet on our garage (called shoreline plugging), we got a little too anxious to start checking things out. This is where you have to be patient and let the batteries charge up. We have a Magnum Energy converter/inverter that does a lot of things but the main thing it does is take 12 vdc power and convert it to cabin power, such as 115 VAC.

It also performs some very important functions that we had really never investigated before. We had often had inverter problems with this RV, so we were interested in troubleshooting this part of it to make sure it wasn’t just “operator error.”

Turns out the indications we saw on the control panel were the results of operator error (or at least that is how it panned out as we went along.)

The converter also performs a very detailed function of charging your cabin batteries to make sure they maintain an exact level of voltage DC and also to make sure they are charged correctly.

When we first hooked up to shoreline power, we found the lights were very dim and nothing in the cabin would maintain power levels long enough. For example, we could turn the TV on, but then it would drop off.

We also tried it by running the generator, but with the same results.

We went online and found the manual for our power converter/inverter after narrowing it down to the box. We could hear it clicking when it was attempting to convert DC to AC.

We were also getting a strange light on our control panel inside the coach that we had never seen before. We kept getting an intermittent, flashing red FAULT light. After reading about the converter, we found this would be normal if the batteries were not yet up to the optimum voltage. We were also getting a BULK light on our control panel that we did not recognize. I cannot stand not to know what stuff like that means, so I started digging through the manual and found out this is normal.

I had vaguely seen this Magnum control panel before, but I had no earthly idea what it did. The Coachmen owner’s manual said absolutely nothing about this.

When you start charging the batteries, you will probably get a FAULT light once every 4 seconds until your batteries are bulk charged to a certain level. While this is happening, you will also see a BULK light.

The next stage is the ABSORB stage. The charge is kept at the BULK charge stage and will back off if it is too hot.

After ABSORB, comes the FLOAT stage. The charge voltage is reduced to a constant maintenance voltage that the converter can handle.

So, your converter not only protects the circuits in your RV and shuts itself off if the voltage is not at the right level for your cabin’s components. Once the voltage is optimum for conversion to AC, the converter then sends the correct voltage to your cabin functions.

So, unlike when you install a battery in your car, for example, you don’t just throw it in and go for an RV. You have to let your RV’s converter/inverter figure it all out.

In my next chapter, we’ll tackle the case of the “Missing Mudflap” and what to do about it. (the dealership returned our RV without its signature mudflap)

You can see the mudflap that says “Sportscoach” at the bottom of this photo. This was mysteriously missing from our coach when we got it back from the dealer. We will talk about what to do about that when I come back.

See you next time!

Lynne

Chapter 2: Getting Ready to Go On Your Trip And Wiper Blades (Ugh)

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The Alaska Highway in January (don’t try this in an RV – we drove it in our Durango) It is great fun in the summer. Best times to go are from May to September.

Hello all,

Well today was day 3 of working on the “list.” I’m talking about this not only because it is part of the trip log, but I am also discussing it because it might help someone.

When we got our RV back from the storage yard, the first thing I wanted to do was wash off everything that had happened to it for the past 3 years. Yeah, I may be a little particular (a little?) about my stuff so after the court case was over, I just wanted to fix what was wrong. She looked horrible, the poor Hog. We had to preserve everything for evidence, so she had 3 years of grime and abuse on her from the dealer and from sitting over a winter in a storage lot on the military base nearby.

Some moron had decided to try to pry open the cargo door that holds the propane tank, even though it doesn’t lock. So she had some body damage – a dent that angered me quite a bit. This was done while she was behind a locked gate with a passcode, so whoever did it was either another military member or a retired military member. That’s JUST WRONG.

So, I decided that while cleaning her up, I would try to figure out just exactly what we had here. We had only been able to take 6 trips in her in the 2 summers we had her, and the rest of the time she sat in the shop at the dealer. So, I never got to become familiar with the Hog’s workings like I had the Leprechaun. Cleaning her up would give me that chance.

In doing so, I discovered an excellent way to figure out exactly what was broken, what was working well, and what needed to be looked at. I also figured out things I could fix myself. That felt good to do that.

By starting out at the very beginning of her at the front left, I went from one side to the other. In opening all cargo doors and cleaning out all compartments, I was able to discover several things that could be looked at right away. I will supply some pictures in my next blog post, as it is nicely raining all over my new wash job outside right now.

So, I will talk about those things I discovered as I went along, but for now let’s talk about windshield wipers. The wipers on this rig are, as I soon discovered, worn down from sitting on a windshield through several Alaska winters and being stuck to that windshield. So this was something that definitely needed to be replaced right away. I started calling around to several RV parts counters in Anchorage (there aren’t too many of them anymore) and some truck centers and boat parts counters. No one had a wiper blade refill that was 35 inches long.

In fact, when I asked them for one that size, they all sounded pretty shocked and said things like,

“No, I have nothing bigger than a 32 inch. Are you sure that is how big it is? That is one hell of a windshield you’ve got!”

It was really frustrating. I must have called 18 to 20 different places, including NAPA and some online vendors. Being in Alaska, everyone else is usually closed by the time noon hits here. I didn’t get too many that were still open in other parts of the U.S.

I did, however, get a positive result from the website called Camping World  (campingworld.com). The guy I spoke to on the phone said he would call Elkhart, Indiana where this and many other RVs are manufactured to see if he could find some for me. He was really helpful. Yay, camping world. Can’t wait to actually see one of your stores in the Lower 48 when we get there. Alaska has very few stores, so we often pay high prices for shipping to get what we need here.

It would be Monday before I would hear back from him(everyone in Elkhart Indiana had gone home), so I decided to go a different route.I started reading the discussion forums at goodsamclub.com and also at IRV2.com forums.

I spent all day on the phone and was able to find the correct blades at the trico website here:

http://www.tricoproducts.com/Trico2/replacement/specialtymarkets/RecreationalVehicle/index.aspx

It turns out someone put the wrong wiper blades on our RV (hmmmm…I wonder who?) I started to really look closely at them, and it is obvious the blades that are on there are the wrong ones. How could I tell? The whole time we’ve owned this RV, the wiper blades never really worked right. They always made scraping noises and looked like they were trying to dig a large scratch into the windshield. While really looking at them, I noticed that the blades were hanging too far over on the windshield and getting stuck on the rubber seal around the windshield.

Grr….ok..calm down, Lynne.

So, that is Ok. I learned a lot today. So if you are frustrated over trying to find the right blades for your big Class A motorhome with the big, honking windshield, try using the Trico website widget that helps you figure out what wiper blades belong on your rig. Then do a search on Amazon.com for Trico and the part number, and chances are pretty good you’ll find it.

Something else I learned was that some people who were having trouble finding the correct wiper refills or blades for their rigs were doing some interesting adjustments. Some would put a new arm on from a choice of other blade arms that were made by a different manufacturer. They would use a blade arm that was a few inches longer or shorter than the original, then they would be able to easily replace the blade refill without having to go through the hassles again.

Some other people just went to Walmart and found exactly what they were looking for. Ours was a little harder to find because it is meant for a curved windshield.

Hope you have an easier time finding your wiper blades than I did (at first).

Happy RVing!

Next time, I’ll post some stuff about the things I learned on my detailed walkaround and  some pics relating to it. One thing I learned from another guy was that it is really useful to make copies of the maintenance checklists from all of your manuals, and keep them in a notebook. I learned that from this great guy at

http://www.bryantrv.com

He has some really fantastic maintenance tips on his website.

See you soon!

Lynne

Chapter 1: An End That Became A Beginning and Leaving Alaska

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And so the beginning grew out of an ending. A very painful ending at that.

The ending of three, long, painful years of waiting and believing. We believed justice would come, but I know now that justice is an elusive and fluid thing. It is too full of human elements to really spring from the full truth or total honesty.

We had spent a long, painful year after we bought what I began calling, “The Hog.” We had previously owned a Class C motorhome, a Leprechaun, that we really loved. We liked to camp in remote and very cold places in Alaska, so the Leprechaun was not quite what we had hoped in some ways. We kept running out of fresh water, filling up our black and gray waters, and we often drained our fuel tank running our generator for a weekend. We often got very cold because the Leprechaun just wasn’t equipped for cold, late fall nights or early spring nights.

The Leprechaun we really loved at first…

The “Hog” was a this huge, towering beast of a thing. Both beautiful and frightening to me at the same time. And she came with hundreds of broken items. A broken windshield, a strong septic smell everytime we camped, a leaky shower, cranky automatic jacks, and the list continued. She was frightening to me because she was so complex. We had thought the Leprechaun complex when we first purchased it. We had read the manuals for about a month before we started camping in it. So many things to know!

And the “Hog” was a hundred times more complex. She sat on a Freightliner chassis, which made half of her systems the responsibility of a local Freightliner repair facility and the other half a dealer that had a bunch of technicians that kept lying to us about fixing things. Everytime we brought her in with more writeups, they would work on some things but never the really hard things. Until we finally sued them. This forced the manufacturer to force them to fix the septic and leaks. The dealership kept fixing her over and over again. Mostly ignoring us but still pretending to try. They had been so good with our Leprechaun. We were completely baffled and constantly angry about it.

The first year’s warranty was getting ready to be over, and we still hadn’t gotten her completely fixed. So we sued them. The Hog cost a hell of a lot of money, and she was supposed to be our permanent home for several years after Dan retired. But his retirement was put on hold while we went through the 3 year agony.

Dan is my husband. He had suffered over 25 years of post-traumatic stress, brought on by witnessing the death of a friend in the military. In camping with our Leprechaun, for the first time in his life he had found what made him smile and forget his pain. Camping was a complete release of the stress he felt.

We spent our first summer in 2006, camping every chance we got. Alaska had become our home, after running away from a city full of layoffs and a house that we could not sell in Tulsa.

Alaska summers are horribly short, so we camped even when it was pretty cold out (in the 20’s). Dan was talking about retirement, so we started looking at large Class A motorhomes. None of them looked good to us. (except the ones we kept seeing on HGTV’s RV shows that cost $300,000.00 and up. We weren’t going to spend anywhere near that. The dealer where we had bought the Leprechaun had 2 Class A motorhomes that looked really great. We chose one of them.

From the day we did the walkaround in June of 2007, that dealership made our lives a living hell. They are now out of business (no surprise there), but they had just hired a new service manager around the same time that we bought the big rig. And he was not only a liar through the whole court case, but he was a moron during the time we tried to get our RV fixed. The service manager before him was an amazing guy who never let anything slip through the cracks. This new service manager let everything slip. If it weren’t for just a few good people he had, they probably would’ve blown up our motorhome.

Alaska was fast becoming a place where crooked salesmen sold autos and RVs for way more than they were worth, especially to military people and retired military (like myself). And then they failed to support them properly. And the two that went out of business in 2007 and 2008 blamed it on the economy. Yeah, right. That’s why there are some that are still doing well there?

It is a good thing that two of those crooked RV businesses are now out of business. If you’re ever in the market for renting an RV from a dealership here, the best one is Alaskan Travel Holidays, by the way. I would never go anywhere else to buy an RV or rent one.

So, after we filed a lemon law lawsuit, we found out someone in the dealership had taken our RV out joyriding when they were supposed to be fixing it and put an extra 1,000 miles on it and an extra 100 hours on the generator. We were livid. And none of them would fess up.

They tried to say we abandoned it because after we sent a letter to the manufacturer for our money back, we went and took our personal items out of the RV. The only reason we did it was to make sure we didn’t lose any of our things if the dealer decided to be jerk offs and have it impounded. They didn’t, but when we got it back the following spring it was a total wreck. Though I filmed it all and talked about it in court, their witnesses lied and their lawyer lied about us and won.

It was a blow on that first day, but I started to realize that at least now because of testimony, documentation, and video-taped depositions, we actually knew what was fixed and what wasn’t. Before this, we often would be told that things were fixed. And then they wouldn’t be when we took our next trip in it. In 2 summers, we only got to use it 6 times. The previous summer in our Leprechaun, we went on more than 20 trips and made over 150 short documentary films. We made about 3 films after we bought the Hog.

So, after the sting of losing, I realized that at least now I knew where we stood. Yes, we had purchased an extended warranty from Coachmen for $2,700 and gotten nothing in return. So had a lot of other people who had bought extended warranties just before Coachmen sold their RV division to Forest River. So many companies do crap like that.

So, after we heard we lost, we were a little bit stranded when it came to fixing the major things. But, we did some research, found a better mechanic and signed up for the Good Sam extended RV warranty. One of the best in the business. It’s great because you can choose from several deductible amounts. The higher the deductible, the less you pay each month.

Though we had loved the few times we had camped in it, we were always afraid of what would break next. Now, at least we’re not afraid anymore. It also encouraged me to start really investigating what it was we really had here. It was just about that time we got some very devastating health news about my husband Dan. He already had diabetes, but now we were told he had cirrhosis of the liver (we don’t drink at all) and an enlarged heart.

We were planning on selling our home and moving to the Lower 48 anyway, but now we started talking  a lot about fulltiming. We read a book from Good Sam about it, and we started reading all the discussion boards at Good Sam’s website about fulltiming. So fascinating!

Dan and I are both travelers. In the time we have been together for 13 years, we have moved about 8 times. (or more!) We just get the itch and cannot stay in one place.

That was the thing about that lawsuit. We must have been preparing, in the back of our minds, to lose just in case. And like most human beings who have been through tough times before, we decided to take what I call “The High Road.” Instead of sitting around and whining about how they lied on the stand and we told the truth blah blah blah…Dan and I began to put our lives back together and fast!

The court case and its preparation had literally nearly drove us both insane. So the feeling of relief was a bit strange right after it was over. But we also felt like:

“You know what? We’re not going to let anyone beat us down. ”

Though I knew that what the other side’s attorney said about me during his closing arguments just wasn’t true, it didn’t matter because I knew – deep down – I had told the truth to the best of my ability and was just trying to protect an investment my family had made. Dan had to put off his retirement for 2 years because of their inability to find their butts with both hands (in my humble opinion..LOL) I had fixed electronic systems on several types of aircraft during my military career, and here was a ragtag lawyer with scuffed shoes and an angry demeanor trying to make me look dumb. Not gonna happen.

After it was over, quite a bit of strange relief feelings showed up. And we found out our RV was actually worth more than we thought it was. And that was a pretty good thing.

So, I began looking at it with a microscope. Every system. Every component. Learning everything about it. I fixed up several houses we have owned, so why not learn as much as I could about our next home?

Dan’s illness and my desire to help him see every state in the U.S. during his lifetime made our decision about fulltiming for us. It was exciting to think about!

In the next chapter, I will go through the systems that I investigated as I went through every inch of the Hog. Maybe it will help you in some way with your own RV. Or maybe you have never had an RV and are thinking about buying one. Perhaps it could help you in that way.

See you next time!

Lynne

So, we stepped over him (the defense’s lawyer) and moved on.

For 2 long years, we had to keep the RV in the crappy, filthy condition the dealership had given it to us in. (to preserve evidence, in case someone needed to look at it) It felt so good to finally be able to wash it. Wow. It looked so different.

UPDATE: Someone asked me recently on the IRV2 forums why we lost the court case. Here’s my answer (might help you someday)

We lost because of some several reasons.
(this is very complex and long, but it could save you on your next brand new rig)
1. The Alaska Lemon Law is VERY specific. You must write the manufacturer and the dealer a letter stating specifically the following:
That you demand a refund
That there are the following nonconformities: (things that are broken)
…etc
That you demand your money back within 10 days of the letter

What we didn’t do:
We did not write the dealer because we had already asked them 4 times to give us our money back.
Because our rig was in their shop for the winter to get things fixed and we did not want them to sabotage it or have it impounded and we knew the manufacturer was working with them to get it fixed.
We had already written the manufacturer an email previously that said we wanted our money back and the manufacturer had a conversation with the dealer to tell them we wanted our money back.
You must write both letters within 60 days of your first year’s warranty expiring.
They have 30 days to get all nonconformities fixed.
They must have made at least 3 attempts to repair the nonconformities we complained about in the letter.

2. The lawyer on their side got about 8 mechanics and the service manager to lie about the attempts they made to repair the rig. They lied about our complaints dating back 3 years that we had been smelling septic that long. (they didn’t start writing the complaints about the shower leaking and the septic smell until the last year before we wrote the letter)
They had not wanted to work on the septic or the shower so they never wrote these complaints on the workorders.

3. We did not receive any work orders until just before we wrote the letter, so we never saw what our workorders actually said. We had to piece these together for court which was very complicated and took months. Their workorders were not accurate. We only got to see workorders after our lawyer asked for discovery documents. The workorders were an absolute mess! It was hard to figure out which of the hundreds of writeups were completed and which weren’t.

4. After we wrote the letter, we asked for permission to go on the lot and get our personal effects out of the rig. They said we could. Reason: we wanted to get our stuff out – we were afraid they would have it impounded and we would lose all our camping gear. Their lawyer lied in court and said we abandoned it. We called that fall to ask how repairs were going and to ask where our rig was because we had not seen it on their lot for about a month. They sounded nervous and said they were waiting on parts. I asked if I needed to report it stolen. They really acted nervous then.

Their lawyer made me look like a liar in court because I never got to explain why we went and got our stuff. (when you are testifying, you explain your side, then they try to defend their side and they can say whatever they want about you). Their lawyer said we abused it and neglected it, and we were in closing arguments so I never got to explain.

You can see by the way it looks that we never abused it or neglected it.

5. We had bought a Leprechaun from them before, and we had loved it and their service manager had taken very good care of us. He left, and the owner hired a “friend” as a service manager who basically put them out of business with his lousy management skills. The service manager lied on the stand about us saying we were really happy with the way they handled our service, and he said I never told him about the septic smell and the leaking shower until right at the very end of it all. (I could not defend this very well afterwards because they never gave us any workorders. A lot of the writeups we told them about over the phone or even in person never got written down. We had trusted them because of our previous experience. I will always get a signed workorder after repairs from now on, believe me. No trust anymore!)

6. We had witnesses that had worked there who overheard the service manager call us whiners and pains in the ass and that the septic smell was all in our heads. (they later found the gray water valve pipe was completely broken off and that the septic’s vent valve had never been installed at the factory)

7. The dealership was out of business halfway through the court case, so we had to drop them from the suit. But the manufacturer still used all their liars on the stand. Not sure what the motivation was there for them to testify, but it had something to do with Anchorage being a small town and them trying to protect their professional reputations. However, the only good mechanic they had quit the business altogether and went to the North Slope to work in the oilfields. Luckily, we found out during his deposition that he had been the one to finally fix the shower leaks and the septic smell. We had never known if it was ever fixed or not before that. He was the only one we trust to tell the truth.

8. I said, during my testimony that I had told my husband that the one thing we were not going to do was lie, if we were going to pursue this. We told the truth through the whole thing. I have a very good memory, so I was able to piece together every single incident.

9. During his closing arguments (so that I could not defend myself with rebuttal testimony), their lawyer tried to make us look stupid first by saying we wrote up a couple of items like Sirius Satellite radio doesn’t work and the 6 CD changer isn’t working (we don’t get sirius satellite in Alaska because there are no towers in Alaska and the rig never had a 6 CD changer in it though these were two things our salesman said it had).
He tried to make it seem like our witnesses that used to work for the dealer and had overheard all the remarks about us and knew that the dealership refused to do much of the work because the manufacturer was not going to reimburse them if the work was repeat work – he made them look like disgruntled employees because they had been laid off. (though everyone had eventually been laid off anyway). These two witnesses were some of the most honest and best service writers you would ever want to meet. So because the lawyer did it in closing arguments, no one could rebut what he said. He tried to make me look like I was the only one who thought the rig was a Lemon, though the service manager had referred to it as a Lemon around the shop and then testified he didn’t believe in the Lemon Law and that there is no such thing as a Lemon. The lawyer in his closing arguments also made it look like the hundreds of writeups on our rig was normal for an RV this size. (our Leprechaun had maybe had only a dozen cosmetic issues in its first year).

10. We had paid $2,700 for a 7 year extended warranty, but the dealership told us that our warranty was up after a year. (the rig had 2300 miles on it when we bought it because it had to be driven Washington state and the salesman said he would extend our warranty because of the mileage.) We never got that extension, and we never received the extended warranty we paid for.

11. Coachmen Industries sold their Coachmen RV division to Forest River just after we filed suit. They put 18 million dollars into a warranty fund to cover warranty claims on RVs that had been sold to customers before they sold the RV division to Forest River. In their Proxy (the document that explains the sale), Coachmen Industries said they were responsible for the units they sold before they sold Coachmen RV. They did not put enough money into the warranty fund to cover claims for people who bought extended warranties because that fund was being depleted by a million bucks a month and will run out this December. What did Coachmen do with the other 70 million bucks? They filtered it through Coachmen Industries to pay off debts and fund their housing division.
Not only is this deceptive, but bad business.
We could not find anyone from the original Coachmen RV industry who would testify to the Proxy so we could not admit it as evidence.

These are just a few reasons why we lost. And I believe the jury was tired of the whole thing by the time it was over because they only deliberated about an hour. They probably just wanted it all to be over, too.

What I recommend to anyone buying a new RV:

1. Don’t take delivery on an RV that already has problems. We had a huge crack across the windshield and a bunch of other problems, and it just went downhill from there. Everytime we said we wanted our Leprechaun back and our money back during the walkaround, they kept saying they would give us free winterization and free oil changes and so on. We trusted them because of our previous experience with our Leprechaun.
DON’T TRUST ANYONE. Get everything in writing, because you may have to go to court someday to prove it.

2. Test drive your rig. They would not allow us to do that, but we trusted them. Ours had hydraulic fluid spewing out of the engine on the way home and a Check Engine, Oil overtemp, and Digital readout Check Engine indicator on the way home. (home is only 15 minutes away).

3. GET EVERYTHING IN WRITING THAT THE SALESMAN SAYS.

4. If you are going to buy a new RV, buy it in a state that has a Lemon Law that covers RVs.

5. Get an extended warranty through Goodsam, instead of your dealership. The manufacturer could go out of business and take your extended warranty with them.

6. If you are thinking of filing a Lemon Law Lawsuit, make sure you know the law in your state and satisfy the notification requirements TO THE LETTER. In your notice letter that demands a refund, LIST EVERY NONCONFORMITY, not just the ones they have tried to fix several times.

Ok, I warned you this was long and drawn out. Will I ever sue anyone ever again? No, probably never.

Is our rig perfect? No. Apparently when they had it in their shop that last time, someone took it for a joyride and put an extra 1,000 miles on it and an extra 100 hours on the generator. They also spilled something all over our brand, new pillowtop mattress and left a big, red stain on it. It was filthy when we got it back, with someone else’s urine all over the toilet. (we had given it to them clean when we took it in).

The power converter is now broken but because it is a new writeup is covered under our Goodsam warranty. The jacks are still a question mark because our rig is on a Freightliner chassis so they are part of Freightliner’s responsibility. We found them to be erratic, but the dealer kept saying they worked fine. The check engine light is still an issue, but the Freightliner people said it is probably just a bad sensor for the coolant.

The dealer blew up our batteries two winters in a row, (they kept leaving the batteries on all winter through -20 temperatures) and this last time they put the wrong batteries in there. So I just spent about 3 days cleaning and painting the battery trays and installing new batteries for the cabin.

Other than that, it looks like they fixed everything else.

7. Learn your rig, inside and out. Get a good manual and read the manuals for the rig again and again. Check out every single inch of your own RV. Don’t let other people be the only ones who know how to fix it. Learn how to winterize and dewinterize it yourself. Keep all electronics and such clean and perform as much of your own preventive maintenance as you can.

8. Salesmen are liars. Mechanics can be liars. Lawyers will do anything to win.

Don’t let other people walk all over you, like we did. I am not being negative. Just stating the facts for us. Maybe it could help someone else.

Sorry this was so long! Told you it was going to be complex!!!!

Have a great RVing kinda day….

What is Full-Timing?

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The “Hog,” as we affectionately call her. You’ll hear many stories about her along the way. Here is where we write them and create them. In the background, you can see the house in Alaska we sold to become full-timers. The bug just suddenly got us. And off we went.

…Lynne and Dan

It brings up images of running away with the circus, or jumping a boxcar train. Or being a gypsie, a nomad. A shadow that brings in the awning in the wee hours of the morning and slips away to another town, another campsite. A place where there aren’t any mortgages, home insurance, mowing the lawn, or house repairs. A place where freedom to just be makes more sense than anything you’ve ever done in your life.

It means making the road your home. Your RV is your shelter, and everyone you meet along the way is a friend.

Stay tuned, as we bring you stories, photos and films from the road. We look forward to it!!!

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