Good Morning, Internet!
Yesterday, I had Sky Meadows Mobile RV Repair install the tow bracket on Agent Cooper. They did excellent work, and I mentioned that I’d be coming back to see them in a couple weeks for some minor issues with the RV.
Little did I realize…
I posted a video about my newfound sense of freedom – but I wound up staying in Starke for another night rather than driving down to Wildwood. What tipped the balance was not paying for a night in an RV park in two different locations on the same night! Instead, I stayed up fairly late working on my project for work, and got to bed about 2am, with the intention of getting up sometime between 6 and 8, working a little more, then being on the road to Wildwood (and meeting new friends!) by 10 or 11, since it’s only an hour and a half drive from Starke to Wildwood.
About 10am I was all set to go. I fired up the coach, and away we went…only…there was this weird noise – like pea gravel in a rock tumbler. I got about 30 yards down the road when I shut the coach off and climbed outside to have a look. I opened the hood only to realize that there’s nothing to see there but the radiator! I climbed back into the coach with the intent of starting the engine, then coming back outside to give it a listen.
The starter would spin, but the engine would not crank. I was well and truly stuck. For the fourth time in my ownership of the YarrVee, I dutifully got The Black Book out, and called Good Sam Roadside Assistance. I was on the phone for about 20 minutes arranging for a repair facility and for a tow. A second call was to make sure that I had my ducks in a row regarding the impending warranty claim. I made sure I had the numbers I needed, when Roadside Assistance called to let me know that Sky Meadows Mobile RV Repair was on “their list” of repair facilities, and that a tow truck was on the way to come hook up the coach and take it a mile and a half down the road to Revel’s RV Repair – where I’d had the tow bar put on.
I thanked the girl for her time, and got Agent Cooper disconnected from the YarrVee (my first time! Two clips, two pins, two safety cables. totally a cinch!), walked up to the front desk and let them know the situation, and that they could expect a tow truck inbound…hopefully more sooner than later.
About 45 minutes later, the giant tow truck showed up, with a little helper buddy. It took the two guys about 45 minutes to settle on an angle that got the front wheels safely off the ground without dragging the back of the coach on dips, and then we were off!
Just as they were yesterday, Wade Meadows Sr. and Wade Meadows Jr. both showed off their expert skills and amazing attention to detail. Wade Jr. crawled under the coach and found the broken starter (it was pretty obvious), along with a broken knock sensor. They contacted Good Sam Extended Service, and got authorization to do the work while I zipped over to Green Cove Springs (with Figaro with me, since the engine cover was off, and it’d have been trivial for him to get out!) to pick up mail, and 4 packages. They were done with the starter before I left Green Cove Springs. I was truly impressed. I figured I had at least an hour to get there and get back, if not longer. They were done in 45 minutes!
Replacing the starter and the knock sensor was $722. I have NO IDEA how much the tow was, but it wasn’t cheap. However, between the Good Sam Roadside Assistance Plan and the Good Sam Extended Service Plan, my share of cost was a $100 deductible. I’ve owned the coach for less than 6 months, and the ESP has already saved me nearly half what it cost to purchase. I have a lot of bad things to say about my post-sale experience with CampingWorld, but the inclusion of the Roadside Assistance and the fact that they even offer any kind of ‘warranty’ on a coach that’s already 10 years old is amazing – never mind one that’s good for 3 years or 36,000 miles! The ESP is as good, or better, than the warranty CarMax will offer you.
I got back to Starke about 3:15pm, and successfully got back on the road to Wildwood at 4pm on the dot. Traffic was light, and I pulled in to Site 26 at the KOA in Wildwood right at 6pm. Jason and Kristin came over and visited for a little bit, then we all settled in for the work-night. It’s funny to me. They’re out of their Airstream, and have been in a ‘loaner’ Fleetwood since October. It’s a Fleetwood Storm. For the Snows.
…It’s a Snow Storm.
That amuses me way, way more than it probably ought to.