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Delivery and First Trip

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carsten.schwark@shaw.ca

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September 23, 2008, was the big day. I was nervous and scared. A friend of mine drove to Red Deer, Alberta, with me. He has been driving motorhomes before and I felt like I need somebody with me who knew how to handle this beast. The delivery took around three hours. I found a few things that did not work the way I liked. A technician on standby took care of all the issues I presented.

Now I just had to drive the baby home, 1.5 hours north to Edmonton. At first I was a little intimidated. This was a little bigger than the minivan I am used to driving. I took the motorhome around the block and the intimidation was gone rather quickly. I realized that this was actually fun. I went straight home.

During my trip home I learned that My dash A/C was not working properly. In fact, the dash fan was only working on the highest speed. Darn! I was still too excited about the purchase, so I put this on the back burner and thought if that was all I found wrong with the MH I would be in good shape.

My wife, Leah Ann, and I loaded up immediately because we have no time to waste and wanted to go try our baby ASAP. At home I noticed that my black-water tank showed 2/3 full. Probably just some TP stuck, so I make a mental note to flush the tanks good, after the weekend.

We had planned a weekend trip at a local provincial park. It was the end of September, but the weather was a beauty. We went down to Pigeon Lake Provincial Park. It was already after the summer season. I filled up the fresh water at home so we did not have to worry about it. We were leaving home and suddenly my ABS light came on. What the heck? We drove around, used the brakes, and everything felt OK. Got to the highway and the ABS light went off! No Idea what that was about.

We arrived in Pigeon Lake. While backing in our campsite, there was that intimidating feeling again. But to my surprise it went very well. Easier than I thought. Almost as easy as driving a Smart car. Now, slideouts out, leveling … done. I headed outside to plug in the power, put out the awning and … well, I was done.

I could not believe it -- we had arrived at the campground and 10 minutes later were set up and all this without the usual argument with Leah Ann about backing up and leveling the trailer. Seems like the motorhome acts like a marriage saver, too.

Our first weekend trip seemed to be going very well, until sometime during the evening my daughter called me to let me know that she could not flush the toilet. I moved in to investigate and found that the black tank was FULL. What … full? Hang on a second. Can it actually be that I got the MH from the dealer with full tanks? No way. This is disgusting. The dealer would not do that, would he? Darn.

Now I am sitting on a campground after the camp season closes and therefore the dump station is closed and my tank is full. Washrooms are closed except one un-serviced toilet. Oh, well, let’s make the best of this.

After the weekend out on the lake, we headed back home and the ABS flashed off and on for a while. But the brakes felt fine. Back in Edmonton, the first stop is the dump station in town. For sure, that tank was completely full. After dumping and rinsing, the tank the sensors showed empty.

By Tuesday of the week after our first trip, I had a list of things that needed attention. The ABS light, the dash fan, the A/C and other stuff. Of course, the sale contract said “AS IS … NO WARRANTIES.†Great.

Regardless, I gave Uncle Ben’s RV a call and talked to my salesperson. I complained about the incident with the full black tank and we talked about the other things that are wrong with the coach. He apologized and told me he would call me back in hour to see what he could do. Within 30 minutes he called and asked me to call the service department to book an appointment and they would take care of all my concerns. Yeah, right … for how much money, I thought.

I had to have those things looked at, so I did make the appointment. I dropped off the coach a week later with my list. It took the service department two weeks and they called me that everything and said everything was done. I asked how much this fun would now cost me and was told “NOTHING.†The dealership would take care of everything. Now I was really surprised. Without me arguing, they picked up the tab.

So I went back to Red Deer to pick up the coach. At the dealership, I was greeted by my salesperson. He once again apologized about the full tanks. He said he found out that another salesperson had the coach out for a week before I purchased it and did not dump the tanks. He would like to make it up to me and offered me a FREE PATIO RUG. WOW, that thin had a price tag of $129. I was happy as I could be. I took an hour to make sure everything I wanted repaired got repaired and I was satisfied with what I saw.

An hour and a half later, I arrived home. Everything worked. The dealership had kept its promise to repair everything and I got a free patio rug. After what I’ve heard about how dealers work, I never expected this. But I am happy with this dealership.

TO BE CONTINUED …

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