Where’s the RV?
We purchased our Winnebago Journey from La Mesa RV on August 9th. The ‘prep’ was completed and we picked it up on August 25th and that weekend we took it out camping. This was our ‘shake down’ trip because we have a 15 day warranty from La Mesa on several major components.
Prior to purchasing the RV we negotiated to replace the large window in the bedroom because the double windowpanes have so many stains we could hardly see through the window. This did not come in during the Journey’s prep time, so that was an outstanding item we were waiting for. In the meantime we took our Journey out for its maiden voyage – see about our first trip here.
Shake Down Cruise
In our first trip out we wanted to exercise the RV as much as we could, taking it up to Thousand Trails Lake of the Springs. In that trip we found the following problems we wanted to get addressed:
- In using the microwave/convection oven I tried making brownies. No heat out of the convection oven, so we ended up using the microwave to cook the brownies. Ugh!
- The arm rest in the driver’s seat will not adjust
- The grey waste tank for the shower does not show any level other than empty even when it was full
- When the grand kids arrived we tried to play the DVD/surround sound and only got audio, no video
- The kitchen dinette table’s leg is loose
- The upper tail lights had some lights out and one of the cases has a crack
- On the way back home in nearly 100 degree weather the cab A/C only blew hot air
Actually nothing really major. I contacted La Mesa within the 15 day window and asked to have these things addressed when the window arrived.
On September 15 I received a voice mail from the service manager at La Mesa saying that the window had arrived. After calling him back he explained that the service center was only open Monday – Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. No early/late drop-offs. So I arranged for both of us to take the morning off of the Wednesday the 25th to drop off the RV in Davis – 20 miles away. I scheduled a 9:45 drop-off so we could avoid some of the early morning commute through Sacramento.
Wednesday the 25th
Our plan was that Christine would work at home because she had a 6:30 and 7:00 – 8:00 teleconference. We also had Bathfitters coming in about 9 to install a new shower/tub combo. As luck would have it Christine’s work password had changed. She had been in New York the previous week and had missed that email message in the 600+ emails that collected in her inbox during that time. SCRAMBLE time. We figured that she could go to her work that is 25 miles away – the opposite direction from Davis; attend her teleconferences and make it back to the house in time for Bathfitters.
Now, realize that we have had a drought in California for the past few years. We were having mid 80 degree clear weather all week including the Tuesday before our appointment. The forecast? RAIN! Yeah RIGHT. Rain? in September? In central California? Ha ha ha. My work had scheduled a division picnic and canceled it because of the inclement weather. I thought that was pretty funny. I figured we might get a little drizzle if anything at all, then clear off by 10 a.m. Well before lunch. Nothing to impact our plans.
Christine rushes off to get to work, attend her teleconferences and reset her password a little before 6. I head out to the storage facility a little after 6 and pick up the Journey. It’s starting to drizzle. No problem, as I expected drizzle.
By the time I arrive home – about 6:25 – it’s raining. No, really. Oregon type rain. Not drizzle. Not sprinkles. It’s pouring! My plan was to take this opportunity to drain the fresh water tanks and clean them out – using the drive to La Mesa to have the water swish around. Also, we had a bunch of stuff we wanted to put in the RV – items that would stay in the RV permanently like extra sheets, batteries etc. I try to stretch the fresh water hose to the RV from the faucet in the front of the house… darn. I’m short. I add our extra 5′ hose. Double darn (or something like that). Still 3′ short. So I add the green lawn hose. What the heck – I’m adding chlorine to the water then draining it. A little hose taste will be gone during the flush. Now to hook the hose to the Journey. It’s pitch black and I can’t get the bay light to turn on. In the RV to find the flashlight, dripping water all around. By the time I get the water tank filled with the chlorine mix it was raining so hard that the gutters were overflowing the sidewalk and I am wet through and through. Am I still in California?
I then load up the items we wanted to store in the RV. Every time I open the Journey’s door the entryway gets soaked. By the time I get done I put some dry clothes on, park the Journey across the street at a house that is empty I’m ready for a break.
Oh shoot! It’s getting close to 8:30. I get the dog pillows arranged in the garage for our 2 dogs (Kadie & Danny) and Sam our daughter’s dog who’s visiting (somewhat long-term, but that’s another story). That’s 3 big dogs all over 50 lbs., not 3 2 lb. Chihuahuas. I figure they can stay in the garage while Bathfitters installs the new tub/shower. I just get their pillows out and their kongs loaded when I hear the van pull up, and into the driveway.
Dogs in the garage, Bathfitter is here, still time to get to Davis. But no Christine. We can do it.
I sign the required paperwork for Bathfitter, and he asks where the work area is. Huh? How about the kitchen? We go in and look at the kitchen and he asks if he can use the garage. Garage? Yes, but the dogs are there, and they don’t like the rain. Well, they will survive one day in the wild. The rain has tapered off a bit, but I’m concerned about accidents on the freeway getting to Davis and need to leave… like now.
I put the dog pillows against the house along the patio, close the side door and open the garage door for Bathfitter and call Christine. She’s stuck in traffic because of an accident. Did I forget to tell you the Californian’s don’t understand when it rains after being dry the roads are a little slick? No? Well, believe me. Rain and California just don’t seem to mix on many levels. So instead of her driving to the house and following me to Davis, we are both going direct to La Mesa.
Finally I’m on the road to Davis at 9:10. that gives me 40 minutes for a 20 minute drive. Should be doable, depending on where the accidents are. It’s still raining, but it’s down to a steady drizzle. Traffic is slow but steady all the way to Davis and I make it in about 30 minutes. It was so nice being in the Journey again. I was ready to keep on going… and going… and, well you know the rest.
Rick, our service manager is on the phone so we start just about on time. Christine arrives right after Rick and I are starting the walk-through inside the coach finishing looking at the tail lights. Like me, he checks out the DVD, turns it on & off and tries the 39.5 different button combinations. Nada. Check. Some of the items on the list are not specifically on the 15 day warranty list (it is a Used Vehicle, says Rick) but he says he will ask.
When he comes back, good news and not so good news. The 15 day warranty will cover everything except for the cab A/C unless it’s minor because that wasn’t on my list that I emailed to him in the 15 day window. OK, we still have the extended warranty to cover items; but I wanted to have as much covered without having to pay the deductible as I could. I sure thought I had included the A/C in the list.
Now down to the brass tacks. I say, “what’s the possibility of getting this done by Friday of next week? We have a camping trip scheduled.” I could almost detect a smirk on Rick’s lips. At least a quiver. He replies something to the effect of… ‘don’t think that’s a possibility. There are 5 RVs ahead of you’. I almost say, “what’s the point of scheduling this then?”, but I keep my mouth shut. I do tell him that I would rather them keep our Journey and get everything fixed instead of having to take another half day off for a drop off, and half day off to pick it up. Besides both the DVD and convection item are things that may need parts. And one thing I’ve learned in reading other blogs is that when it comes to RV repairs, patience is not a virtue but a necessity.
Off for coffee at Dutch Brothers then on to work. I arrive at 11, and Christine is back at the house in plenty of time for Bathfitter to go to lunch. Our new baby is in the shop.
Once I got home I found that I had sent Rick 2 emails in the 15 day window, and one of them included the A/C problem. Whew! I thought I was going crazy.
Where’s the Journey – October 10th – Still waiting for repairs?
Today is Friday the 10th of October. La Mesa has been great to work with, and I appreciate that they are getting all the items on our list taken care of. I had thought of dropping Rick an email a couple of days ago to find out what the status was, but decided to wait a little longer. Can’t rush a good thing. I would like an update though…
Update Monday October 13th
Rick at La Mesa must have read my mind, he called and provided an update today. Window: at the glass shop getting some adjustments. Microwave/Convection Oven – being replaced with a new one. Dash A/C: repaired. DVD player: reconnected and working now. Rear tail lights: repaired. Table leg: fixed. Armrest: operator error. I missed the status on the grey tank gauges. Another week and we should get the Journey back.
Thanks you for the great service Rick & La Mesa!
Update Saturday October 25th
No more updates from La Mesa, and it has been over a month that they have had our Journey. It has been 12 days since the last update. Time to call. We miss our Journey… and we WANT TO GO CAMPING. Yes, I am shouting.
Update Monday October 27th
Christine called and I emailed Rick at La Mesa to find out what the status was of our RV. Microwave had arrived and the Norcold refrigerator recall kit is due this week. At least now we know the status, however I was disappointed that we had to solicit an update from them. Oh well.