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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!
Homer, Alaska

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

It's Not All Fun and Games

It's been an interesting and not so fun past few days here in Green River Lake State Park. I knowt full-timers know this, but I am here to testify that even in of the relaxed world of  rv'ing there certainly are "those" kind of days.

About the first of the month I was detecting a whiff of unpleasant odors. Not a lot, and not all the time. I attributed it to the decaying leaves on the ground, especially as wet as it has been around here. Early last week, it became quite strong at times, and pervasive. We cleaned out the pantry, looking for spoiled food. We cleaned out the basement, looking for critters. Cleaned out all the closets and cabinets, looking for anything! I cleaned and disinfected the bathroom to an inch of its life, but still smelling that smell. Now, we have no sewer hookups here, but we do have the honey wagon once a week come and pump us out. I was thinking maybe he wasn't flushing it out good like Al does when he dumps the tanks, and there was a clog or build-up of nasty stuff. We asked around for suggestions, and decided that on Monday when the wagon came, he would completely fill the tanks with water in order to give it a good flushing out. So, on Monday, he was busy filling the holding tanks to the brim while the pump-out was getting ready to start. He went outside, and as the gentleman was getting ready to start, he says to Al. " there's water draining out of the bottom of the rig". Uh-oh.

Now, our rig has the enclosed underbelly, so you can't see  anything underneath. I wasn't sure if this was good or bad but I'm definitely leaning towards "bad" at this time. Al drills a small hole in the board underneath the black water holding tank, and the liquid just comes streaming out. This is NOT good.

The owner's manual is basically useless, as most RV'ers can testify, so I quickly looked up online the nearest CampingWorld, which is in Bowling Green. Why CampingWorld, inquiring minds? Well, we bought the rig from CampingWorld, in Syracuse, NY. We also purchased an extended warranty through CampingWorld, assuring us that work would be done and covered at "any CampingWorld or licensed repair facility" wherever we were. So we called Bowling Green, discussed the issue, and was told that if we could bring the rig in that day, Monday, they could take a look at it and see what they could do...otherwise, it would be after the weekend...holiday and all, you know.

Now, bear in mind, I worked Sunday night and had just gone to bed at 4:30AM; it's now 11:30AM. I work again on Monday night, and start at 5PM. Bowling Green is 1 1/2 hours drive from here, and we still have to prepare the trailer for travel and get hitched up. No way could we do this and get back for work on time. Sooo, I call the sick hotline and report us both as unable to come in Monday...like we were instructed to do. We got the trailer ready and hitched up, and headed for Bowling Green...oh, and also, its raining just to add to the fun.

I will give the Bowling Green CampingWorld credit where it is due. They did have a bay empty for us, and as soon as we backed in, they went to work on it. As I was in the office filling out the warranty information with the manager, the tech came in with the bad news: we need to replace the black water holding tank. Apparently, where the pipe and flange come together at the tank, the glue was either not done properly and has come undone, and the liquids have been leaking out of the tank and into the belly of the trailer. Man, I'm telling you, all I was envisioning was this massive mess of paper, liquids and you know what under there! Thank goodness, it wasn't that bad, but the crack is big enough for liquid to come through, and can't be fixed because of the way it is built, it doesn't come apart. The whole thing needs replacing. Ok, so how long is this going to take? Now, we get to the really fun part.

Bowling Green CampingWorld is only a store; it's not a dealership, it doesn't sell rv's, sooo, Keystone will not ship them parts. I need to take the trailer to a Keystone dealer. Oh, joy. And where is a Keystone dealer? The manager calls Keystone and they give him the names of the two nearest dealers...both an hour and a half in the OTHER direction from the campground. Ok. So we go back out to the trailer, and the tech tapes the cut-out back in place while I call the first dealer, RightStop RV in Lebanon Junction. They weren't very helpful. He told us to take pictures of the damage, email it to him, and he'll see what he could do, but it would be a month before he could "work us into the schedule". NOT acceptable. We then called Keystone directly, and talked to Jamie, a customer service representative. Explained the situation, that we are on extended travel, can't return to the selling dealership, and not receiving much help on this end from their closest dealer. Jamie was very nice, and actually got in touch with the next closest dealer, Sunrise RV in Shepardsville

Tuesday morning, still raining, with some thunderstorms thrown in for good measure, and we re-hitched and set off for Shepardsville. Debbie at Sunrise RV was great, getting all the paperwork ready for the extended warranty. She's even putting it through on the manufacturer's warranty, being that its only two weeks after the warranty expired...can you believe it?? It's fairly evident, though, that its been leaking for awhile, so she's hopeful, which is good, as I'll explain in a bit.

It had stopped raining, thank goodness, as the tech had to work on it outside. He almost thought he would be able to fix it, but as he investigated it further, reached the same conclusion as the tech at CampingWorld; the way it is built, it can't be fixed, it has to be replaced. So he and Al went into the office to work up an estimate  which came to almost a thousand dollars between the tank, parts, shipping and labor. Debbie submitted the estimate to the extended warranty company. Soon, Al came back to the truck with steam pouring out his ears. The extended warranty company will only cover the tank, not the parts or shipping, and only half of the labor costs. About $300 out of the $1K. He was ready to call them himself and cancel the whole policy, we kind of feel that its useless at this point. But Debbie told him not to call, YET, while she works on it more, and works on Keystone as well. So that is where we're at, waiting for parts now. We can still use the shower and galley sink, we we purchased a port-a-pot for the "middle of night and its cold out" nature calls.

As for work, they are still bouncing me around. Last Wednesday I did training in Crisplant, which is the order packaging facility. We do orders with multiple items there; orders with only one item go someplace else. Its very interesting, and I enjoyed it. I have a rolling cart, with a scanner, a computer monitor, a tape dispensing machine, and about 10 different sizes of boxes. The cart goes up and down the order aisle, where items are deposited down chutes into separate orders. When an order is complete, a light flashes on the chute, and I go to that chute with my cart. I scan the code on the chute, it tells me on the computer monitor what should be in the order, and what size box to make. I make my box, the tape dispenser shoots out the exact size piece of tape I need, and then I scan each item as I place it in the box. I fill in empty space with the air bags, then seal the box, slap a barcode on the package, and put it on the conveyer, where it goes down to shipping. Its pretty easy, and kind of interesting to see what items are actually being bought, and what is ordered together.

So Friday I did my regular shift in Crisplant. Saturday, they rotated me back to Receiving for the rest of the weekend...they are training a ton of new temps ( from temp agencies, not camperforce folks) and needed the space in Crisplant for training, whereas they needed help in receiving and I'm already trained on that. Sunday
I went in and looked for my name on the receiving roster, couldn't find it. Then I saw I was doing Prep for the night. Prep is anything breakable that needs bubblewrap, anything that could get soiled that needs to be bagged, new barcodes on anything...stuff like that. So, I worked on Prep for awhile, then they came and put me back into Receiving, then after the second break I finished the night in Prep again. I can't even guess what I'll be doing when I start again Friday :-).

Most of the camperforce workers here in the state park are having Thanksgiving dinner together tomorrow. There's a restaurant in town that sets aside a room for us and serves a buffet style dinner. It sounds nice, and whereas its not family, at least someone is thinking about it being a holiday! I will let you know how it is.

That's it for this time. Hopefully, everything will work out in due time. I hope everyone has a great holiday. Happy Thanksgiving!


  1. Terrible warranty service! I have not heard many good warranty stories. Hope you all can enjoy the holiday!

  2. Boy what a week you have had,hope things get better for you guys. Happy Thanksgiving!!

  3. Oh my, what a revolting development this has turned out to be! Hope everything comes out all right. :)

  4. At least your attitude is good! Not much you can do at this point but wait. Happy Thanksgiving!

  5. This will be one of those stories you will share for a long time. Sorry it had to happen, but you seem to be taking it in stride.

    Have a Happy Thanksgiving!!

  6. What an ordeal! Hope it all works out for you. It's always "somethin", isn't it? :)

    Happy Thanksgiving to you both!

  7. Extended warranties are always a hassle. They are quick to take your money, but slow to respond when you have an issue. It took us a year and a half to get our money back when we had our refrige replaced. Now we know the rest of the story.

    Sheesh, if you w*rk in a couple more departments and you'll be in line to run the place.

    See you later today at the Thanksgiving Dinner.

  8. Oh my goodness what a mess both literally and figuratively. Few things are worse than black tank problems. I hope this all gets worked out to your satisfaction. I've heard so many bad things about extended warranties and how they try to snivel out of coverage that I don't even have one. Wishing you the best of luck!!


  9. Oh, man! So sorry to hear about the tank issues. There are two kinds of fulltimers...those who have had rig issues and those who are going to. It's just a matter of time. Hang in there! This too shall pass. Happy Thanksgiving!

  10. We too have an extended warranty through Camping World, so far it has been totally useless. We made a couple of claims which they denied by using a lot of doublespeak.
    Hope the issues with the black tank get fixed.