Happy Hobos

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  1. Extended Warranty Recommendations

    We purchased a 2004 Newmar Dutch Star in Feb of 2017 from a RV Dealer. The dealer offered Extended coverage through a national RV Dealer program for $9,000 for three yeas up front. And an exterior/interior finish protection plan for $1,500 that included the application of an exterior protective coating. With an older coach built by a Manufacturer with a great reputation for servicing their older rigs we felt we had a good chance of using this Motor Home for 10 years with good reliability. The Motor Home was in apparent excellent condition but had been in storage for some time, I think close to 24 months. We really wanted to protect our self from unexpected huge repair costs, but not with an up front outlay of cash. (He who holds the cash holds the power) We opted for the Good Sam ESP (Extended Service Plan) with a Monthly cost of $292.17 / Month. And Good Sam Roadside Assistance Towing. So Far we have used the services twice. First was an engine problem, difficult to start, rough running and now power. Had the rig towed to Dave's Truck Repair in Springfield MA. They found the injector control switch faulty. I had them do the Massachusetts State Inspection and asked them to do a through chassis inspection including checking the tires. Total invoice came to $4,316.77 Good Sam covered $2,774.44 leaving us $1,542.33. With all the extra work done I am well pleased with the outcome. Second was Roof Top Air not working well. Dropped the rig off at Diamond RV in Hatfield MA a Newmar Dealer. They found both Air conditioners were beyond the effective life and not worth repairing. Good Sam covered all but $600.00 for the cost to install 2 new air conditioners. In anticipation of this result I had contacted Newmar's technical support and they sent me good information on the proper replacement units including the required thermostat upgrade necessary for the newer units. I shared that email with the Dealership when they suggested other units and thermostats. Their Service Manager contacted Newmar directly and agreed to install the recommended units. Foot Note: I will never bring the Motor Home back to Diamond RV. We had an appointment before dropping off the rig, after two weeks they finally diagnosed the problem and contacted Good Sam to get the approval to proceed. Good Sam made the approval with-in 24 hours of being contacted, this included the time required to have a GS representative physically go to the dealership and review the diagnosis. We picked up the rig as it was going to take 7 to 10 days to have the parts shipped in. The Service Rep. said he would call us to confirm the arrival of the parts and schedule the installation with an estimate of two hours to actually swap out the two Air Conditioners. I made a check call to the Service Rep. as I had not heard from them by the 11th day. After checking he discovered the parts were in and we scheduled the appointment for the following morning. We dropped the rig off at 9:30 A.M. the next morning. Two weeks later after I made the follow-up calls The Service Rep told me that they had not started the work yet. He promised to have the rig ready by Thursday at the end of the day. At his point I did not believe a word that came out of his mouth. We drove to the Dealer on Thursday and arrived at 3:30 P.M. The service rep. did not recognize us when we sat in front of his desk. It was actually a little comical when we told him who we were. The look on his face was pure panic, he excused him self and went out to the shop to (check on the progress). The next person we saw was the Service Manager full of apologies and telling us that he had assigned 3 tech's to the job and authorized overtime to get the work done if necessary. When the harried Service Rep. came back to his desk I told him we were going up the road to Yankee Candle's Flagship Store and asked him to give us a call when the rig was ready. (I hadn't taken the DW to Yankee Candle in more than 15 years and now we don't need to go back for another 15.) The Service Rep. called us at 5:00 PM to tell us the rig was ready. Gee 2 hours after they actually stared the swap. We picked up the rig, the next day I got up on the roof and took a look at the install. I found two small old screw holes under the front of one of the units that were exposed and not protected from water intrusion. I grabbed my calking gun and roof seal and did the best I could to seal them. They should have been dealt with before the new units were bolted down. Several weeks later when we got to a campground with 50 amp service we tested both units. The front air worked well on both cooling and heat pump. The rear air worked on cooling but when we switched to heat pump their was a loud clunk as the unit started. Obviously the units had not been thoroughly tested after installation. The good news is that both units are working ok and as expected. I'm a little nervous about what that clunk was and we will have it checked out when we can get to a RV repair facility that has a good reputation. Lesson learned some RV Dealers are just sales operations with a ragtag service capability and some are well organized and serious about being in the service side of the business also. In hind sight the difference is obvious. Still HAPPY HOBOS
  2. National Fishing License

    Manholt, I spent a 40 plus year carrier with a food distributor and I know of at least one driver who always kept fishing gear in the truck. He planned his rest breaks at streams, rivers and lakes he spotted from the road. Of course all the trailers were refrigerated, multi compartment. Bob came back often with prize catches and a big smile. Running in New England the opportunities were abundant.
  3. National Fishing License

    11-8-2017 When Salt Water Fishing Licenses were first introduced the regulations provided for free (except for the processing fees) licenses for seniors and reciprocity for bordering states. Senior still needed the Salt Water License but it was issued free except for that pesky FEE. I am currently researching Non Resident Hunting & Fishing Licenses for Florida and see no provision for the free Salt Water License. Has any one kept up with the changes in the regulations? Has the free senior license become optional by state?
  4. Our last RV was a 2008 Forest River 25 ft 5th wheel. When We got it home I removed all of the interior shielding for components, to gain wasted space in storage compartments. What I saw when I opened those areas up would have changed my mind on the purchase. The workman ship was so sloppy behind those panels it was a red flag for quality, supervision of the assembly line and pride of workmanship at the individual level. Electrical wiring was a tangled unsecured mess with wiring for multiple components crisscrossed and intermingled with pluming lines and fixtures. Heating ducts were not logically secured. Some of this I was able to remedy with appropriate tie-ties and brackets, but resolving the crisscrossed components would have required disconnecting systems and rerouting them. This was one of the factors I took a hard look at when shopping for our first class A coach. Neat and properly secured components and wiring behind any decorative panels. What other ideas have you used to detect basic quality in construction of RV's that you have purchased? Craig & Jane FMCA# 52319
  5. Extended Service Warranties Sold In Florida

    Just finishing up the purchase of a 2004 Newmar in Florida this week 1-24-17. Dealer is really pushing the RVDA Recreational Vehicle Dealers Association plan for extended coverage of the Coach not the insurance required to register the vehicle. We believe we will go with Good Sam's Extended Service Plan. Purchasing an older top of the line coach comes with some risk to the appliances and systems that just can't be quantified. I believe the basics of the Chassis, Motor, Transmission Suspension, Etc. can more likely be accessed through inspection for wear and tare and maintenance records. Though those items are covered in the plans we have looked at. Will accept the Basic Extended Service Agreement 60 Months Roadside Assist, Trip Interruption and Rental Reimbursement offered an no additional cost and add the Appearance Protection At $1595 that lasts for 5 years. The appearance protection includes the application of protective coatings at the time of purchase then a 5 year warrantee on that protection. We are addressing the obvious exterior appearance issues prior to picking up the coach, worked out a good deal through the Dealers contractor for this work. The interior of the coach is pristine, (thank you original owner). The sales rep has stated that repair facilities don't like to deal with Good Sam's Insurance because of the delay in receiving payment. Sounds similar to some comments posted here. And I agree with the comments about Camping World, it depends on the quality of the Service Manager and the Service Tech's working on your coach. If they are competent, well trained and have the support they need to do excellent work then you have a much better chance of receiving quality results and proper documentation for insurance claims. If they are not competent, well trained and have the support they need they will be moving on to a different employer and the Franchisee just finds another body to fill the slot . As compared to a private (my name is on the building) established service facility the OWNER has a larger stake in the satisfaction of their customers. Camping World is the Big Box player in the RV Industry. Reasons for selecting a different plan: Monthly premiums vs pay for two years up front. Must purchase the RVDA policy at time of purchase of the coach. Kinda a high pressure tactic. Not renewable after the initial two years. I'll be dealing with some one else any way after two years, they are taking the least likely two years of risk. Ability to cancel policy with out fighting for our money back. Possession of the funds is 10 tent's of the battle. That's the Plan. Having a plan means I can re-access and make adjustments as we go. Craig & Jane FMCA # 52319