So…Blog Nation…we left you last Thursday with the sunset over the Willamette Valley, thinking our part would be in on Friday and we would be on the road. That did not happen! When we awoke on Friday morning about 0700, we were thinking we would be on our way by early afternoon. Hmmm…I guess it doesn’t pay much to think ahead in some instances. We will get to all of that. First off, about 0800 I heard a Coach pulling into Bob’s shop, which is not an unusual occurrence. I just happened to look out the window, and was immediately confused, as I was staring at OUR Coach! Yep…the exact duplicate of our Coach had just pulled in.
According to the research that I could find, there were only 40 or so of the exact floor plan and paint scheme of my Coach made in 2002…so it was time to investigate. Before I could get out of the Coach, there was a knock at the door, and I met a guy named Don who owned said sister Coach. Don knew our names, and said he’d been following us on the Country Coach forum and other places. What a great time we had exploring each other’s Coach and learning what each had done to make improvements.
Don was a wealth of information, and we will apply a lot of what he has learned over the years to making our Coach more of what we want it to be. Don has owned his for many more years than we have.
Well, you may be wondering about the part that was supposed to be shipped from HWH overnight, right? Well, it didn’t show, and because they shipped it for free, there apparently was no tracking number, so we were hoping for a Saturday delivery. OK…nothing else to do, so I took some measurements of my mirrors and headed back to Northwest RV supply to see if they had the correct mirror arms for my Coach. As stated before, mine are about shot, and look terrible. I dug through about 40-50 mirror arms, and found a set of two that were brand new, and still in the plastic! I thought this would not be good..the used arms are $65 each, and a whole new mirror assembly from the manufacturer is about $1,300. I thought I would not be walking out with these parts. Guess what? I got them for $65 each!! Terri and I will plan to replace them when we will be in one place for a while. The removal and reassemble isn’t too bad according to all the tech data, but the re-wiring looks like it will take a bit of patience.
We had a great evening, and continued to make lemonade instead of eating lemons…it is what it is! Later in the night, a buddy of mine sent me a pic that he took while vacationing in San Diego. He said he thought I was there and was going to say hi, and realized that it wasn’t me…he sent this pic. Looks like me, huh?
We were up and raring to go on Saturday, just hoping that the part may show up. Rather than hang around and wonder and worry, we decided to head to Albany and get some shopping done. We ended up becoming members of Costco. $55 per year to join. Did you know they have free food at this place? I think we made our money back in short order, as I tried everything! We spent a grand total of $13 at the store…we will see if this membership thing pays off. They say that you can cancel at anytime and get a full refund.
After tooling around Albany for a bit, we headed up to the Willamette Winery. A very nice place, with spectacular views.
Afterwards, we headed to one of our new favorite spots for dinner…the Agrarian Brewery and Farm. Had a great pizza, views and a beer.
When we got back to the Coach, we were hopeful that there would be a sign on the door that said the part showed up, you are all fixed, and can leave in the morning…not so. We were treated to an awesome sunset though.
Sunday was pretty much a stay at home and count our blessings type day. We got a few things done here and there, and cleaned again. It is really dusty in this lot outside of Bob’s shop. Bob is making some great improvements here, and I’m sure he will have it just the way he needs it in short order. He is over whelmed with trying to move into a new facility and keep his customers happy all at the same time. I know that can really weigh on a person. We went to bed very hopeful for a successful repair Monday!
Well, Monday arrived, and while waiting to see if the part arrived, Terri and I decided to head into town to do some laundry. We had been here since Wed night, and when you are trying to conserve on water, use of the black tank, and keeping your gray tank low…you certainly cannot do laundry…so off to the local “mat” we went.
We got back before noon and got everything put away, and the FedEx truck showed up!! Yea!!! Not so fast…HWH sent the wrong part! Back on the phone. Bob did a great job getting the right person to talk to and we made sure the right part was on the way…but wait, there is more! It was too late to get it out for overnight, so the part would not arrive until Wednesday! Crap!! Stupid little 2 and 3/8 inch proprietary pin! Oh well…we could tell that Bob was beating himself up over something that wasn’t his fault. He is a very conscientious and caring person. We took one of his suggestions on the local area and headed into Eugene to find some bike trails. Before that; however, we went to a bike shop to get Terri a new seat, a new bike cover, and a few other odds and ends. New seat in place, we took a nice ride around the area the bike shop was at, then headed down to the trail that Bob had suggested. It started behind the River Center Mall and followed the Willamette River for 12 miles round trip. What a great time! The neat thing is that the trail works its way through the downtown near the “Duck” Campus, and this was graduation day for those Lucky Ducks, so it was nice to see all of the families out and about.
Knowing that we would have no part until Wednesday, we planed to be up early on Tuesday, and we were, in order to head to Crater Lake National Park and see what we could see along the way. This was a place we had originally planned to go see, but with the maintenance issues, we had pretty much taken it off of our bucket list. We are glad we went!
But wait…as we were getting ready to go, Bob stopped at the shop, and after a little chit chat, something seemed off. After a bit, he mentioned that his 17 year old daughter had been in a bad car accident on Monday night. Such a sweet young lady! Terri and I met her on Monday, and she is such a pretty young girl, and has a personality that will knock you over. Needless to say, things were not good. Fast forward a bit, and hopefully not getting too personal. She was banged up real bad, and is still in the ICU with various injuries, and we are all hoping and praying for a full and happy recovery. Bob is handling this situation in an exemplary manner. If you have the mind to, and even though you don’t know them, please send up a prayer for this family and this precious young lady! Thanks!!
So…after that sobering experience, we were off. We put on about 320 miles on Tuesday, and the scenery, the hikes and everything else were fantastic.
It was an awe-inspiring experience. Check it out if you ever have the chance to get out here. If not, or if you want to come here, check it out at http://www.nps.gov/crla
We decided to take the southern route back so we could check out the Rogue River. What a treat that was as well. A lot of the landscape in this area was formed by the volcano. the Rogue is one of the narrowest yet crazy (Rogue) rivers we have seen. It flows through very narrow canyons, and also flows underground through old lava tubes and spits back out again.
Tech Tip: We got back quite late that night, but not too late to do some research. I had heard about, and talked to other folks about attaching an extra water filter outside of the Coach at the water bib. Considering how hard it is to change our water filter, we thought it may be a good idea to check this out. And we did! Terri picked one up and we have it installed today. We will let you know how it works. We got it at Walmart for less than this post on Amazon…and hey, Amazon has been great in the past, but we are finding things cheaper in the stores in a lot of instances.
On to Wednesday. The correct part showed up at about 1030. Off to work we go. After about four or five hours, we got everything installed, and started re-synching the rams. All that checked out fine. Then we re-attached the rams to the slide to see if all of this paid off. It did not! The room still skips a beat here or there when it comes in. My gosh Ron…you just spent all this time and money and the problem is not fixed?? Well, that happens sometimes. I think Bob was beating himself up over it more than he should have been. It was not his fault. We followed all of the troubleshooting from HWH, and in the end, it is the main cylinder that controls all of the rams that is going bad. A very easy to reach part, but very expensive too! I decided to forego replacing it, and wait until it gives up. In the mean time, while we were moving the slide in and out and trying to get everything synched, Bob noted something that we would have never seen had we not gone through this debacle. The rubber on the bottom of the living room slide had broken away in the front…a while ago. Water was getting in, and it appears it was rather recent, as there is no rot or damage. I went outside and looked at it from that perspective. I had noted in the past that the rubber was a bit twisted, but using a flash light or whatever, could never see any issue…until now. Because we had everything inside torn apart, there was nothing obstructing my view over the rubber below the slide. I could see right into the Coach! OK…we buttoned everything up on the inside…no small matter mind you, as we had the whole interior torn apart. After that was done, Bob said he would move some things around and pick up the new rubber for the slide in the morning and start on it about 11:00.
And he did. That was this morning. With all he has had going on, we feel truly blessed by his consideration in getting us taken care of. He is a great guy, and has a great family.
We had to move the slide part way out, and jack it up so we could get access to the rubber.
Tech Tip: Via some other research, we found a tip that we hope works. We have to defrost our fridge at least once per month, because both the fridge and the freezer frost up. One way we have read to keep from having to do this so often, is to find a way to circulate the air. Terri has some small battery operated fans, so we decided to give them a try. They sell some fans that attach to the fridge fins, but we will give this a shot.
We got out of Bob’s shop about 2:30 this afternoon, and landed back at Gills Landing in Lebanon. The park hosts here are so nice. They welcomed us back with open arms.
We plan to head out early tomorrow and make as many miles as we can. We hope to make it to Spokane and the Fam Camp at Spokane, WA by Saturday. We then plan to head to Missoula, MT and then on to Great Falls, MT where we used to live and we also have some great friends there that we plan to stay with. After that, across ND and MN and ON WISCONSIN!
Whewww….again, a lot of stuff in a short amount of time. As always, we hope this finds you Happy, Healthy, and Living Your Dreams!!!!