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Al and I are thrilled that you have found your way to our blog. We hope you enjoy reading our journal and viewing our photographs of the natural wonder of our United States of America. Let's hit the road together!
Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

Saturday, April 30, 2016

We Interrupt This Expedition....

I still have entries to do on our stays at both Asheville and Lexington, but we are currently in Rock Island, Illinois, after having some trailer trouble. Ah, the joys of traveling :-).

So the story starts in a little town called Shelbyville, in Illinois. After our touring weeks, I was looking for a place to just relax for a couple of days, and this is a nice Corps of Engineer campground, Lithia Springs, on Lake Shelbyville. Hey, full hookups for three nights cost $36.00, what a great deal, right? It was very nice, quiet and peaceful, just what we were looking for. We had actually planned only two days here, but an approaching storm front caused us to leave Lexington a day early and take advantage of the dry driving conditions. We were very glad we had done so, even though we did have one of the wickeder thunderstorms we've ever experienced :-0!

We enjoyed our stay there, and got ready to head out Friday morning. Everything went great, just as usual, until......there's always an until, isn't there :-)? Our rig has the Lippert 6-point-leveling system, which Al does really like. A lot. Until it doesn't work. Which is what happened Friday morning. He pressed the button to retract the back four jacks, and they all retracted, the front landing jacks did as well, which is bad, then everything just died. We kept getting error messages. So the trailer is completely tilted downward, no possible way to hitch up, and the controller is not working. The manual override is not working. Even the manual method of operating the jacks is not working. This is not good.

We called Lippert's technical support/service department. They were very helpful.....NOT! The girl that answered barely listened to what we were describing, said she had "never heard of this problem with the error codes," and then had him check the voltage, assuming the batteries were low. Then while he was doing that, said she couldn't wait on the phone while he did this, and we had to call back when we had the readings. Upon calling back with the readings that the voltage was fine, she told us we would have to call a mobile tech and hung up. Really. Great.

Next, I looked up any RV dealers in the area. I found one and gave them a call. This was another useful call. The gentleman who answered the phone told me he was way too busy to even think of coming out, and he had no idea how to deal with the autolevelers, as none of his trailers even have one. Well, at least he was honest, right?

I decided to go see one of the camphosts and ask if they had any suggestions. Here's where, for a change, our luck was on the good side (a very rare occurrence!). There was a mobile tech in the park at that very moment, doing some work on another host's rig. Well, I beat feet right over there and asked him about our problem, and he said he would come right over after he was done with that coach. Awesome!

What he thought was going to be a simple fix, though, turned out not to be. He thought re-setting the system would work, but as he found out, the control panel wouldn't let him do anything. He figured the control panel went bad, and set about bypassing the system, jumping the valves to get the landing jacks to raise up so we could at least get hitched. Once this was accomplished, he called in to his shop to see if they had a control panel there, but they did not. He suggested that we call ahead to our next stop and see if any dealers there would have the part. I was so thankful for his help, his name is Calen, and he owns Countryside Campers in Para, IL. So if anyone needs any assistance in this area of Illinois, we can highly recommend him.

Before we pulled out of Lithia Springs, I looked online to see if there were any Grand Design dealers in the area of Davenport, Iowa, the direction we were headed. I found one, Terry Frazer's RVs, and gave them a call. Again, our luck held, and they told us to come on by first thing the next morning and they would take a look at it.

True to their word, we arrived there just before 9:00 a.m. and two techs came right out. After listening to our description of the events, they also felt that it could be either the control panel or possibly the "brain" panel. They brought out a test control panel, plugged it in, and, voila!, our jacks were working again. Thank goodness. Within 20 minutes we were on our way back to the campground, ready to continue our expedition west. So we can also recommend Tom Frazer's RVs in Eldridge, Iowa for anyone that needs assistance. It's so wonderful to find good, helpful places out here as we travel.

Tomorrow, we continue westward, driving for the next four days until we reach Custer, South Dakota, where we will stop for a five night stay. In the meantime, I will get the blog updated with our activities in Asheville and Lexington, where we had some fun times. I now return you to the regularly scheduled programming :-)

9 comments:

  1. You have definitely hit on the subject matter that gives me the most anxiety/ Realistically things break whether you are in a sticks and bricks or on the road. When you live in an area for a while you come up with a list of folks you know you can depend on when trouble comes knocking. On the road it is always a crap shoot. When you make the call you just never know. At least you just wasted time with the nitwit on the phone. So glad it worked out for you.

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  2. Boy do we know the jacks aren't working problem. You sure had me on the edge of my seat. I cannot believe what horrible customer service you got from the maker of the jacks. No one should be treated that way. Sure hope you will let Grand Design know and the company president of Lippert how terribly you were treated when you needed help.Hope you got her name. On the same note, put them all, the great two and her on line in RV Service Reviews. I always look there when we can't find a local recommendation. SO glad everything had a happy ending. You have had way too many rig problems. Safe and trouble free travels!

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    1. I always forget about RV Service Reviews. I will do that for sure tonight. Thanks!

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  3. Boy do we know the jacks aren't working problem. You sure had me on the edge of my seat. I cannot believe what horrible customer service you got from the maker of the jacks. No one should be treated that way. Sure hope you will let Grand Design know and the company president of Lippert how terribly you were treated when you needed help.Hope you got her name. On the same note, put them all, the great two and her on line in RV Service Reviews. I always look there when we can't find a local recommendation. SO glad everything had a happy ending. You have had way too many rig problems. Safe and trouble free travels!

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  4. Denise and BillMay 1, 2016 at 9:25 AM

    And this is why, I do not miss camping. So happy that you guys were able to rectify this awful situation rather quickly. Thank God for competent people. Safe travels forward.

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  5. Your attitude in handling these type of situations is the key to this lifestyle. You guys have had your share of problems but the good times outweigh these inconveniences. Glad it all got taken care of. Onward to Custer!!

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  6. Lippert can be snarky at times, ask how we know :) Glad you found an honest service tech who found the problem.

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  7. All I can say is you two are the King and Queen of RV issues...so sorry about that title. But on the bright side, you are also the role model for how to handle them. You just do what you have to do and then move on. We will all have Rig problems, but we can all learn how to go with the flow from you two!!

    Enjoy your time in Custer and safe, issue free travels!!!

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  8. Glad you got back on the road in short order.

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