Sunday, Sep 28th, 2014
We decided to drive immediately and as quickly as possible across the country. After we got to California we would slowly make our way back towards PA with a mid November deadline. I'm trying to be back on the east coast to run my M3 with Track Daze on Virginia International Raceway and then it would be nice to have Thanksgiving with the family. After our previous blown air spring incident I had hoped that it would be smooth sailing. It was except for what I am calling the trifecta of crap. We were travelling through an unnamed mid-western state when SO decided she needed to mail a package and return something to Bed Bath and Beyond. Fair enough, we found a place and pulled in. Junior and I had lunch in an empty hospital parking lot while she went off on her errands in the toad. We left and on the way out to pick up I80 again I felt the steering get heavy. The rear view camera was clouded and we started to overheat. We turned into the nearest parking lot we could find which happened to be one of those megachurches. Looking back was a trail of oil. The rest of the 6 gallons of hydraulic oil laid to rest under our rig in the parking lot. We blew a hydraulic hose. Oil. Was. Everywhere. It sprayed on the entire engine, compartment, tires, brakes, transmission, etc. Everywhere.
So my first reaction was to utilize the Good Sam membership. We decided to utilize the service to send a mobile mechanic. I rationalized that dealing their random pick of potentially bottom of the barrel mobile mechanics would still be better than paying the call out fee which Good Sam covers. The guy they sent out though. Holy moly. First, understand we informed them during the call that we blew a high pressure hydraulic hose, most likely our power steering hose, and that the driver would need to have some method of repairing said hose. I didn't know at the time but you cannot repair these hoses as a small but certainly not handheld press is required to attach the fittings. There are hand versions of the press and repair couplings. The guy they sent out had a tiny lunch pail sized toolbox, an air compressor and a generator. He said he never worked on a single RV or bus before. He was not in a uniform, covered in tattoos (not that that matters but was interesting enough), He left his truck running the entire 4 hours time he was with us which was spewing raw unburned gas out the exhaust. The truck was covered in dents, scratches and other trauma. It had a single lowly flashing yellow light. It was literally the opposite thing you think of when you think professional. I knew where this was going but I still gave it a chance. I really should have just accepted that I was on my own and started repairs myself but I must be a glutton for punishment.First, he had no male to male line for the compressor to raise our coach so that he could safely get under it to take a better look. He didn't understand the blocking required to be safe under the coach, even after I showed him. He didn't undo the bundle of hoses to figure out which one was bad. He told us that we would have to get parts from an rv dealership and that we'd probably have to be towed. He said "oh I know a dealer nearby that sells these RV's". Interesting since Foretravels are direct from the factory. The guy had no clue and he continually fed me a stream of lies.
Very early on I decided this was done and told him we were finished and since he was not equipped to help me, could not possibly have helped me and offered no solutions or diagnostic work of any sort. They decided we owed them $140 for doing less than nothing. Discussing these fees took hours and the situation was eventually resolved to our satisfaction. To Good Sam's credit, they called back days later and apologized for how bad our experience was. The guy threatened to impound our rig and this and that. It was a really bad experience when we were already down and out. The repair person really seemed ill equipped to do any repairs whatsoever. It seemed like they just collected the fees and said "yeah it's broken, you need towed".
After the guy finally left I tore into it myself. I unbundle the hydraulic lines zip tied together and rotate the radiator fan. Oil spews out. I reach my hand up and feel the 3/4" radiator fan hose has a giant hole in it rather than the power steering. This means I need a 3 foot hose, not a 42 foot one! This means I don't need to pull a new hose through the wire tray in the center of the rig! A ray of sunshine! I managed to get the hose out around 11pm that night and the next morning went to Napa first thing to get it. Great, we're going to be back on the road hopefully.On my way back from the third NAPA store I visited, I got to the final leg of the trifecta of crap. A run in with police that was a very bad experience. I won't go into details for various reasons but I will say that I am a good, honest, law abiding citizen who has a habit of speeding. I do not have any relations with anyone that partakes in illegal drugs. This is a very real thing.