When your car needs service, you just drop it off at the local garage. If it is going to take a few days, you can borrow or rent a car. But when your car is also your house …. it’s a bit more complicated!
You may recall from a prior post, we experienced an issue with our rear engine hatch. Our particular bus has a motorized cover, not manual. At delivery, we noted that one of the two cover actuators were missing. The dealership replaced it, everything seemed to be working, and we set off on our way. Unbeknownst to us, the actuator was not identical, and opening/closing the cover caused it to torque and damage the cover and bracket. In fact, for a while, we were unable to open the engine cover at all.
Back home in South Florida, we identified a local authorized warranty repair center. They were able to remove the offending actuator which enables us to open / close the hatch (with some difficulty). However repairing the unit required pre-approval from Entegra and replacement parts, which they were unable to source before Thanksgiving, our launch date. So we had the parts held at Entegra in Indiana, until we could arrange for repairs at an alternate facility.
It should be noted that most repair facilities do not have hookups or even just a parking spot for you to stay with the motorhome. So, if you have a multi-day repair (like this one), you may have to go stay in a hotel for the duration (not a simple endeavor with a cat). If the repair facility isn’t attentive to your rig’s power needs, you can come back to find your house batteries drained and spoiled food in the fridge. We attempted to find a repair facility in the vicinity of our Gatlinburg cabin after the holidays. However, since it was winter, the facilities would not guarantee our rig wouldn’t freeze and recommended we winterize before dropping it off. Um, no. Not going to do that.
So, on to Plan C. Since we were coming back by Dixie RV anyway, perhaps they could work us in around that time. And they could! And they have parking sites with power hookups, and we can sleep in the bus every night! And Entegra can ship the parts to them in time! Sold! Since they kinda broke it, it only seemed fair for them to fix it.
Dixie RV was great. They worked around our travel schedule and addressed everything we listed. We cleared out each morning and the bus was parked back in a hook up spot each evening by 5 pm. It all worked out. Rear engine cover fixed!
We had to make some accommodations to stay on site. We just left the slides in the whole time, it’s a lot simpler to do so. You just have to plan ahead and take everything out that you may need from those cabinets that are blocked when the slides are in (mainly clothes and food). We only had electric hookup, so were in water conservation mode. No long showers or laundry. But hey, it was free camping! And at night when everyone cleared out, it was super quiet. We spent a total of three nights there.
It felt a bit surreal to come full circle from last summer when we picked up the bus. Six months ago we were such newbies. Now we feel seasoned, and comfortable handling and living in this rolling home. We are back where we started this adventure and will now encounter new territory!