Dear RV Shrink:
We just retired and thought we were going to spend our first winter season as official “Snowbirds.” Instead, we are “snowbound.”
We bought a brand-new motorhome with all the bells and whistles, made a winter’s worth of reservations at Florida State Parks, winterized our house in Michigan, and headed south to the Promised Land of sunshine and warm ocean breezes. We only made it to Indiana, where our motorhome was manufactured. We have several problems our dealer could never seem to fix, so we headed straight to the factory and screamed warranty.
One issue is, our furnace continually cycles on and off every couple of minutes. They kept trying to convince us this was normal and send us on our way, but my husband won’t budge. Lately, they suggested WE contact the furnace maker. I’m freezing and think we should just go, but my husband wants to stay until they fix it. It is causing friction between us. Am I being unreasonable? —Frozen in Time
Is it just a coincidence that I am getting constant questions about RV malfunctions on brand-new units, or is this a pattern?
Here is what I think you should do immediately. Go to town and buy a snow shovel. I know that sounds weird, but when that RV tech notices that you just bought a new snow shovel, he is going to know you are planning on staying until he gets it fixed right. It might be as simple as adding another heat duct run; but whatever the cause, they should be able to diagnose and remedy it.
As the manufacturer, they should have plenty of pull with the furnace maker. Tell THEM to call. If they are unable to figure it out, I would go so far as suggesting they fly a furnace tech in to fix it. But if you are successful in convincing your husband to give up and make a run for the Florida border, get everything documented in writing. The manufacturer is hoping to reach the warranty finish line before you.
You have heard the old saying, “The buck stops here.” Your buck stopped at the salesman. It is now up to you to buck the system and get what you paid for.
I have never found starting at the bottom and working my way up to be anything but frustrating (except doing my taxes). I always find it more rewarding to start at the top and work my way down. If you cannot get satisfaction, find out who owns the company and call the CEO. You won’t get the CEO, but you will get someone way up the chain of command. At that point questions start rolling downhill until they reach your situation. Not to overwhelm you with sayings, but, “It’s the squeaky wheel that gets the grease.”
I feel your pain, but don’t let this dampen your RV spirit. “This too will pass.” There I go again! Once you get all the bugs out it won’t be so bad. Things will continue to go wrong on any RV investment, but they will, with any luck, happen one at a time and you will learn how to deal with them in a timely manner, and hopefully in a warmer location.
“Stick to your guns,” “Fight fire with fire,” and my favorite quote, that might be appropriate during your current disagreement with your husband about staying or leaving, “Never go to bed mad; stay up and fight.” —Keep Smilin’, Richard Mallery a.k.a. Dr. R.V. Shrink
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