The fiberglass repairs to my coach take longer that I hope they will, but not longer than I expect them to take. I pull out of Straight Line RV and Boat Repair on Wednesday after almost two weeks in their shop. For the reasons outlined below, I am so glad I waited to get the work done here.
When their shop foreman initially checks out my damage, he informs me that my work could have gone much more quickly. It seems that I should have retrieved the chunk of fiberglass, located in front of the wheel, that got torn off in the tire explosion. Then their mold creation part of the job would have been less time consuming.
Sadly I was too terrified to comb the discarded parts littered interstate highway shoulders looking for my piece of fiberglass after I got the rig parked on the shoulder that nightmarish day.
From the size of the pieces I saw flying by my windshield during the tire explosion event (relive it by clicking here), there couldn’t have been much left of that corner anyway. I could barely keep from trembling while waiting for help inside my coach. Traffic whizzing closely by outside my disabled rig seemed awfully threatening to me right then. Fearful that hanging out along the interstate might result in me missing a few parts, I leave the area without recovering that fiberglass corner.
Dry Camping in the Service Yard
Luckily, the folks who work at Straight Line are very kind and accommodating. They make my time here less stressful. For example, they have room to allow me to dry camp in my rig with slides fully extended each night of the process. No other shop I contact about repairs offers me that option. The deal others suggest includes a two week stay in a hotel while the work is done. That does not appeal to me as an alternative at all.
During my travels from Arizona I develop two water leaks that impact my ability to dry camp. I figure out a work around for the city water check valve that breaks. My solution stops that valve from pumping water overboard every time I turn on my water pump.
Marcie helps me line up a mobile RV repairman who comes to their facility and fixes my leaking Hydrohot hose connection. He schedules me in before I arrive and does the work at a very reasonable price. Dry camping with no hookups is too challenging when every time I turn on the water pump, water pours out of the bottom of the Hydrohot compartment, and before I jury-rig the water hookup, out of the water hose connection too. Both leaks empty my fresh water tank far too quickly. I am relieved to get this issue resolved.
I feel very safe behind locked gates in their quiet yard each night. They even help me arrange to get my waste tanks pumped out before I leave. Since my next stop is dry camping at an engine shop, I need to have empty tanks for another unknown length of stay. When Straight Line finishes the repair, they wash my coach, present me with an assortment of snacks to take on my travels and hook up my trailer for me. This is a really first class organization. Most importantly, they do an awesome repair job as you can see from the photos below.
Touring the Spruce Goose
As lovely as my time is at the body shop, I can’t stay in the rig all day for two weeks. Of course, I have lots of chores with which I can fill my time. Carpet cleaning and clothes washing keep me busy for a couple of days. Sampling sushi at every Japanese restaurant in town (there are so many – hurray!) takes care of lunch entertainment for a few days. I even locate an upholsterer here who replaces the Arizona sun destroyed plastic centers in my wheel covers.
But I need fun – so I plan a day trip to check off “visiting the Spruce Goose” on my bucket list. I include my best photos in the video below. I hope you enjoy this virtual visit as much as I enjoyed the real one.