Here is an update on the state of the motor coach for those of you who are interested. The leveling component that delayed our start because we next day aired it to the manufacturer to get it fixed before we left and they returned it UPS ground, worked for a couple of days into the trip then began to work only intermittently the farther west that we travelled. We would go to bed with the coach level, then wakeup the next morning and roll (literally) out of bed toward the front of the coach until we could hit the level button to manually level the coach. We could not get it to auto level every 30 minutes in sleep mode like it should. Not so much of a problem on the road, but it became more and more irritating and perplexing once we settled in Moab. Storm, the HWH rep and I went round and round trying to determine the problem. Then one warm day we noticed it worked just like promised. Storm and I looked at each other about the 3rd time it came on to autolevel and simultaneously said “temperature.” Everything made sense then. The weather was warm when it worked, then the weather turned cold and no more autolevel. By the time we got our component back from HWH, it was warm again so it worked. As we headed west and arrived in Moab it was downright cold at night. Storm called HWH and asked what they fixed when we shipped it to them and they admitted nothing was fixed because it worked in their shop. Did you test in a freezer he asked? No…
The guy helping us at HWH jokingly told us that with a nice coach like ours we should never go where it is cold. We agreed that is a good plan and that is part of our temporary solution until we can visit their shop in person for a permanent fix. The brilliant second part of the temp solution was conceived by Storm. He added a small light bulb in the component compartment to keep the system warm. Now we are more level than ever!
The second most alarming development on our trip was the ride itself. We thought our shocks had been adjusted as we requested before we left home, but the first pothole we hit proved that assumption to be wrong. After Storm peeled me off the ceiling, I learned to hold on to my seat tightly whenever the road showed signs of being rough (meaning not perfectly smooth). Transitions to bridges proved to be particularly exciting as sometimes I cleared my seat by several inches when we crossed those. We could not keep the mirrors adjusted as the rough ride jarred them loose and the car actually jumped off the floor in the trailer so much so that a broom we had stored under the car wound up under the car tires.
We could not leave Moab with the coach ride so uncontrollable, but finding someone to fix it proved difficult. Storm to the rescue again as he got all the info from Country Coach for the repair then set out to find someone with tools and a willing mechanic that he could supervise. He found just such a place and was able to get the shocks adjusted in less then an hour per instructions from Country Coach. Thanks to the nice folks at The Tire Factory for helping us out.
Unfortunately for Storm, while he was outside fixing our ride, I was inside wrecking havoc in the coach. Since the repair shop was so close to the grocery store, we had agreed that I would ride to the shop with him and walk to the store by myself while he worked on the coach. I wanted to look in the fridge to check on what we needed before I headed out, but I did not think about how out of level we parked to allow room to work under the coach. When I opened the refrigerator door, it fell off on top of me! When Storm looked inside the coach to ask me a question, he found me in the floor, covered with food and with a refrigerator door on top of me. To say he was not happy would be putting it mildly. I imagine he envisioned spending the rest of his days trying to catch up with my propensity for breaking things. Using a superhuman amount of self control, he calmly (ok somewhat calmly) helped me up, held the door so I could clean up, then helped me get the door back in the hole. I was left with the instructions to sit on the floor in front of the door and hold it in place with my feet until we could get home. Fearing another disaster we skipped the test drive that we had planned to check out the shocks and headed straight back to the RV park to work on the door issue.
Storm found that the door had been broken before and jury rigged (so it wasn’t all my fault) and that is why the door had never closed correctly for us and some of the reason that it fell off its hinges. He came up with an ingenious plan involving cotton balls, epoxy glue and masking tape that when completed not only fixed the door, but made it better than ever before. I have always known Storm is a brilliant mechanic but it has been a long time since I have seen him in action all to myself and it is amazing.
In the meantime, the DVD player decided not to open the disk drawer anymore so we could not watch any DVDs. Storm knew about this, but I really wanted to start being more of the solution (and less of the problem) so with his consent, I started trouble shooting the broken DVD player. Now I really am pretty good at trouble shooting, just no good at all when it comes to repairs. Give me the web and I will find out why something is broken and even how to fix it if only I understood what they were talking about. I determined that the drive belt was probably broken. Not even Storm wanted to deal with that repair so I began looking at my other options. Since this is a 2005 component in the coach’s sound system, there was no going to Walmart for a new one. It has separate wires for each of the speakers and components of the system instead of a single HDMI cable like modern systems. After reading about ohms and volts and all matter of meaningless info that had to be considered for a replacement, I determined that finding a refurbished one on Ebay exactly like what we have was my best bet. Storm agreed and one is now one the way for $100.
When it arrives, Storm has promised to teach me how to photograph the old hookup and working in a tight space, change out all of the wires. Sure hope he survives that experience. The good news is that when we got on the road again with the coach, the adjusted shocks totally fixed our ride. Now instead of feeling like I am on an insane roller coaster ride, I feel like I am floating on a magic carpet!