Return of the RV

Nothing good lasts forever…but 3 hours? That’s like waiting in line for a Disney ride only to get to the front of the line and have it break. Not that we’ve had that happen or anything. Ok, we did.

So, when we left off we had purchased a lemon RV that broke down three hours into our first adventure.

BUT we also purchased an extended warranty. For $3200. Everyone says those warranty things are dumb and for suckers. But after breaking down 3 hours into our first RV trip with a 2014 RV – I was feeling like that was a GREAT buy.

We are $432 in the hole from the mobile repair service, which basically consisted of the guy running diagnostics and saying you’re screwed. Down about $32 in diesel fuel, cancel fees at a few KOAs, an overnight in a truck stop, bad coffee in a.m. (very upsetting) and a long nerve-wracking trip home.

Not a great start.

But we made it back home safely. Unloaded the whole RV thing (we packed WAY too much) and called the used RV dealer. To their credit, dealer sent a driver out. Driver picked up RV and dropped it at the Sprinter repair shop.

Meanwhile…we let everyone in Wisconsin, Kansas and Illinois know we won’t be seeing them until maybe August AND we get back to research.

BTW, we are socially distancing, not hanging in large unmasked groups, and wearing masks in public. We’re adventurous. We are trying not to to fly in the face of science. The only time we don’t don’t wear masks is when outside walking walking elderly dog. But that’s it.

But back to the little problem (versus huge, awful, pandemic problem) how the flying fig are we going to make this RV work for a kid?

The first call was to Leisure. They confirmed – not safe for kid. That’s why they say so in manual. Derek at Leisure was awesome even if his message was crushing my skull.

Now, I love the Serenity. LOVE it. The woodwork for the drawers is exquisite. The finishing perfect. The toilet not plastic. And it’s sized for 3. We want this RV.

So repair shop fixes idiot lights and drives it to dealer to work on power in house problem.

Remember the no power/air conditioning in house problem? Yeah, that was our stupid. Apparently, we had knocked the battery dial in all of our how can we fix this thing shenanigans. The dealer twisted the dial and it all came back up. See that little dial down there by the fire extinguisher? Yeah, we think that was it.

Mad/frustrated at truck stop with three idiot lights on the dashboard, kid, and dog. Didn’t check that dial. Anyways.

So dealer drives it back to us, and apparently they didn’t know about the no kid thing. Or so they say. And I kind of believed them. They deal in all makes/models. They can’t know the minutiae for every one, even though we are their demographic (we are old parents – what can we say?).

But, see the thing is – we want THIS RV. So, we set out to see if we can get a kid-legal Captain’s chair in second row. Or something (anything) to make this kid legal. It might not be as pretty – but can we in the immortal words of Tim Gunn “make it work.”

So we start calling up VAN aftermarket build people. They all say, we need to look at it, and we are backed up 6 weeks. 6 weeks? Yeah, because everyone and their brother wants an RV.

Ok, the trip timing is already blown. Can we fix this RV though?

Husband pulls into aftermarket RV Sprinter/Van shop 30 minutes away. I follow with kid in our SUV. We are hoping to leave it parked there instead of having it block our driveway and continue to piss off our neighbors.

An old guy name Lych comes out of RV aftermarket shop. He opens the door to RV. Kid plays annoyingly close and Lych tells us he has grandkids and it’s OK. He then humphs at interior (and us). Smiles at kid though.

Tells us next time to talk to Gramps first. Apparently, the diesel heater is under the passenger seat. He would have to reroute ducting/heating and a ton of stuff underneath the bench pictured below and likely couldn’t get forward facing chair in there anyways.

Bottom line- we are screwed. We have an expensive RV. That we can’t use.

Now, what do we do?

We ask used dealer. What do you have that is legal for kid that we can trade this beautiful RV for. Remember our requirements:

1. Used

2. 24 ft

3. Diesel

We’ll now add car seat friendly to that list.

So a new hunt begins. We go back and forth. We call more dealers than you can name. Wrong size, wrong gas, too much $, just a crappy RV, you name it. We can’t find a used one that they can get for us. And this is a HOT market.

So – it didn’t work.

Last Thursday, the dealer picked up the Serenity. Friday we had a wire with our money back. Today they reversed the charge on my Amex for the Warranty.

So we now have money, time, and no RV.

Stay tuned for “Paradise by the Dashboard Light?”

Published by Frances

I’m a lawyer, wife, and mother. This blog is about our family’s screwups. Feel free to share your foibles as I share mine. Keep your nasty comments to yourselves - I don’t need them and I’m just going to delete them and block you.

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