Our Schedule

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Eliminating stress

London,  Ohio

Sometimes one is weighed down looking at various options when making a big decision.  Today we make one.  I feel better.  Less stressed.   Let's review:

In 2009 we bought our 3rd RV.  But our first new one.  A 2009 Montana.  We had few problems with it.  We lived and traveled in it 5 years.  But having an RV fridge just didn't cut it.

 A few stresses we caused.  Worse one was when Len got too close to a gas station barrier and separated the back cap from the side walls.   This happened in May, 2010.  The repairs were finally done in late August. NO, we didn't cause the delay.  Blame it on the dealer. During most of this time we lived in it with a temporary fix.

Oh, we've had flat tires, etc.  Many flat tires.  Once we had two blow outs in less than 3 hours.  Both on Interstates. In the busy northeast... Connecticut then New Jersey.  Both on same side. That was lucky as damage was done to the rig. Nice is wasn't on both sides.  This was on a Saturday afternoon.  Could not find a place to buy trailer tires.  Betty Barnes came to the rescue.  She and Dave were 54 miles away and had a 2010 Montana.  Got their spare, put it on and got back to where they were working security.  Got new tires Monday morning.

Back to the issue with the repair work on the back cap. When we got the rig back, they had changed out the steps. The bottom step was now 24 inches from the ground. Said they needed to be changed.  Why?   No reason to change steps when the damage was done in the back.  Who damaged the steps while at the shop.  Could not get satisfaction until I wrote to Good Sam.

Should have changed out the RV fridge to a residential in the Montana.  Instead we bought a 2014 Cedar Creek.

What a mistake.  First issue...... we were wearing out the tires.  The unit leaned 1 1/2 inches to the left.  We called the manufacturer, Forest River.   They told us to move things around. What the HELL!   They built the thing.  What should we move?  The refrigerator?  The stove? The fireplace? the hot water heater? the pantry? the shower? the furnace?  The cabinets for pots and pans and dishes?  The table and chairs?   Just tell us how to do that.

So we replaced the 7,000 pound axles with 8,000.  At our cost of over $5,500.  An extra leaf was added to level the rig.  A few months later the spring came apart. At the base of the Delaware Memorial Bridge.  Luckily they were working on the bridge and the left lane was closed.  We were in the next lane.  We destroyed about 10 barrels.  Could not get through the tolls as the rig was pulled at a right angle from the truck.  Len had recently had surgery.  To the rescue my brother Norman, my nephew JR and SIL Scott.  At the base of the bridge.  In the rain.   Shop that put on the springs and hangers would not make good.  Well, they agreed to cut the repair bill in half.  Whoopee.  Len checked their work later and the torque was not right.  Probably wasn't right the first time either.

Not too long after,  lights were flashing while we on I-10 in San Antonio.  Bolts on the rack on the back of our rig broke.   We were dragging our generator.  Len put new bolts on.  Lasted 2 miles.  On the overpass.  No place to pull off.  In heavy traffic.  A sweet young man stopped to help.  This was not long after Len had knee replacement.

This rig.....  sometimes the residential refrigerator works while not plugged to shore line.  Sometimes it doesn't.   Been in shop twice for it. We had the rig only months when we noticed a split in the skin near the bedroom slide.

 Took it to the dealer where we bought it.  They had  a body shop do the repair.  Lasted 35 miles.     Then a spring hanger on the left broke chewing up tires.  Took it back to the shop.   Five days in a motel.

And who can forget when moving into our house in Alabama.  Rig was stuck in saturated ground. Len hit the gas backing up.  I yelled to stop.  He didn't hear.  Backing up, backing up, backing up.  Yelling, Yelling, Yelling.  Windows up in truck. Crash

Then  heater stopped working.  We paid $360 to a mobile repair person who said it must have had a spider or dirt it in.  Worked a few days.  Quit.   Took it to  an Open Range dealer 46 miles from where we now live.    They fixed the split in the skin.  They fixed the heater.  They hit the roof going under an overhang.  They  damaged awning.  We have a new awning. They damaged the roof. They patched the roof and will replace it when we get back to Alabama.

This brings us to today.  Len inspects the rig quite often when traveling.  You never know.   One half on the right spring hanger is broken.  Needs welding.  So here we are.

When preparing for  this trip, I planned to overnight at the Pilot truck station near London, Ohio.  When this happened 150 miles back, I Googled Open Range dealers in Ohio.  There are three.  One is in London.  Can you believe a little good luck?   It is RIGHT NEXT TO PILOT.  We will be there when they open tomorrow morning.

But, it the meantime.  Len and I have had enough.  Enough I say.  After this trip, the RV gets sold.  We have a nice home to Alabama.   We've had 7+ years of fulltime RVing plus part time for almost that many years.   We don't need this stress.  Our sanity and health comes first.

We used to love it.  Now we hate it.  We have two RV sites on our property.   We thought one would be empty for guests.  Soon there will be two.   RV friends.... come visit.  We will have plenty of room.

Anybody in the market for a PIA RV?


  1. We've had a year of many expensive repairs and replacements. Fortunately, Stu can fix most thing. But our rig is now ten years old, has a ton of mikes on it and repairs are expected not appreciated.

    Currently my floor sucks, our inverter doesn't work so we have to run our generator when traveling to keep the fridge cold, we have a crack in the front fiberglass and one on the outside of our ramp.

    We love our house and now consider ourselves snowbirds. We don't need this big of a rig, especially when it will sit half the year or more. But we're upside down by $35-40k, thanks to the recession right after it was bought and the glut of toy haulers. Sigh....

    Hang in there, sending hugs!

  2. Oh my dear, I feel your pain, as well as Donna's. Last year on our trip from PA to TX, it was a trip from hell...besides the inverter not working, the fridge/freezer died, and we lost many $ of meat that I purchased from our neighborhood meat market, David's oxygen filler machine quit working, so he was tied to the MH with no bottles. We got a bad batch of diesel, not enough to hurt the engine, but enough to run rough. Then, in Schulenburg TX, the engine light came on, of course on a Sunday, then we found that the car was covered with fluid. After calls to coach net, found a garage that would look at us on Monday. Yet another $1000...and let's not talk about the 8 batteries we had to replace and finally took it to an electric shop where we had to replace the alternator...which was boiling them dry. So, in 2016 we spent more than $9,000.00 that we could I'll afford on this rig.

    We are on what I believe is our last RV trip...David's health has deteriorated to the point that he can no longer help with anything. It's all on me, and I'm tired.

    So, no judgements from this girl!

  3. I remember reading about some of the issues but not that many. Yes I would be done too. But another blogger had a brand new Forest River before ever taking it out the roof leaked things were falling off and the fridge had problems. The dealer was awful to her. Back and forth she went. Finally found an RV repair place and they couldn't believe the bad work that had been done for repairs or just the shoddy build. 2 trips and things finally were fixed and she sold the rig.
    Yes health comes first.

  4. Wow Phyllis. I think I remember almost every one of those issues you had. But when you list them out like that, your perseverance is amazing. We would have lost our enthusiasm for rv'ing long ago!! You can still enjoy trips and travel but just in a different way. I don't know if you guys are into cruises but they are a great, low stress way to get away. :)

  5. Phyllis, John and I agree and feel your pain. We fulltimed for almost 3 years and enjoyed seeing things we would not have otherwise but we called it quits. Last year our diesel truck cost us $11,000 in repairs. First one thing then another. Four months after we got our new fifthwheel I noticed a crack like yours and Keystone had the dealer investigate further and found the frame had come apart. We are settling down again too. We just bought a house and sold our fifthwheel. FYI we sold our RV on Craigslist in 1 week otherwise we were going to take it to PPL in Houston. We eventually will get a small TT and do shorter trips. Hopefully less stress! Good luck with the rest of your trip. Phyllis and John

  6. Oh dear. Paul and I would probably do the same thing if all that happened to us. We are so glad we got to meet y'all at Mt. Rushmore. It was a wonderful evening. We wish you the best of luck selling the RV. Your home is beautiful.

  7. Well, you know we left the RV lifestyle in March, even though the issues with our Montana were very minor compared to yours over the years. Still, there is a certain stress level with unexpected issues (or even expected repairs/maintenance), the related hassles with repair shops, and the expense. We enjoyed our 7 years as full-timers and made incredible memories, but wanted to get out of rig ownership while it was still in good shape. Since we settled in MN in April, our stress level has plummeted and we're much more relaxed and feel better physically. Some of that is related to the cooler climate here, but a lot of it is the reduction in stress. Now we're in a 55+ townhome community - someone else does the maintenance and if something breaks, we pick up the phone! We're so grateful we got the rig and truck sold quickly. We used RVTrader.com, Craigslist and local for-sale groups on Facebook, all of which had quite a few responses. I think ya'll are making the right decision for you. I couldn't believe when you had those 2 blowouts on your way to see us in Jersey ... only good thing about that was we got to visit with you an extra day! Hang in there. Safe travels on this trip. Perhaps you can relax a bit now that you've made the decision. You've got a lovely stix-n-brix waiting for your return!

  8. It was great to meet you, your husband and both of your Grand-daughters while you were here at Turkey Creek! I am glad the girls liked the "bacon wrapped little smokies." My wife loves to see people enjoy her cooking! I am sorry for all the troubles you've had, but understand why you would make the decision to get off the road. It is a constant worry that a repair will leave you stranded someplace when you can't afford it (even if you CAN afford it - it still is unnerving). Best of luck to you in the future!