Not the tow dolly this time!

Now that you know all about our tow dolly issues, I bet you are thinking nothing else could go wrong on this trip.  Well, you would be so wrong!

Between Lubbock, Texas and Buffalo, New York we had to make an emergency stop at the Ford dealership in Charleston, West Virginia.

As we were beginning our day, John noticed Winnie was running hot.  Thankfully we were near Charleston and they had a Ford dealer.  They don’t have the facilities to work on RV’s but took pity on us and looked to see if it was something “easy” to fix.  A hose had wiggled loose with all the crappy roads we were traveling on, burned a hole in it, and we were out of radiator fluid.  They were able to order a part to fix the hose.  Thankfully everything could be accessed from under the rig and through the hood opening.  Otherwise they wouldn’t have been able to help us at that location and they are the “largest” one in the state.

$493 later we were on the road again!

Tow Dolly – Not Loving It – PART 3!

Yep, there is more to this story.

Can you believe this??  After leaving Buffalo Camping World, we arrive at Hogback Lake, Indiana KOA the next evening and decide to check the bolts.  Keep in mind, every time we stop at a rest area or for gas we are checking for them and the ratchets.

I bet some of you are psychic!

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image from https://www.rvtravel.com/rver-horoscopes-for-may-2017/

One of the bolts they replace is MISSING!  Of course it is a Saturday evening and most service departments are closed on Sunday.  Monday morning is another phone call to Camping World in California.  They are shocked we are calling again – as are we with a few other emotions brewing.

They run interference for us again and now we travel to Indianapolis Camping World.  They scheduled an appointment for 2 pm but we show up at 12 pm.  They finally get us into the service bay about 1 pm.

We stroll their store, spend some money, and finally are on our way about 5 pm with all of our bolts in place.  Just another day of vacation!

 

Tow Dolly – Not Loving It – PART 2

So now that everyone is thankful their vacation hasn’t started like ours, it just keeps getting “better”.

About an hour after our last post about tow dollies, I was sitting at the picnic table at just the “right” location and noticed that there are 2 bolts on the right side of the dolly but not on the left.  John inspected and we were missing 2 bolts from the bottom and one from the side that hold the ramps in place.  We got ready to leave the next morning to go to Camping World and found that the light fixture they installed was not working again! CAN YOU BELIEVE THIS???

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Do you see those 2 bolts?  How I managed to see them still amazes me.
The next morning we call Camping World in California and thankfully get to talk to the same person we talked to about our previous issues.  He makes arrangements for us to take it to the nearest Camping World in Buffalo, New York.

It feels like our vacation is a tour of Camping World facilities!

We get there and they say it will take a couple of hours.  After a “relaxing” lunch at Red Robin (YUMMM), we take a drive to Niagara Falls.  Someone forgot our passports (cough Barb cough) so we stay on the US side.  It was a nice diversion while the tow dolly was being repaired.

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I love this picture of the falls!  We paid $1.25 per person to go up the observation deck to get this photo.

They called us about 4 pm to say that they “fixed” it – they replaced the bolts but they didn’t have a light fixture.  They also said one of the bolts had broken off in the permanently installed nut and that it probably happened while they were assembling it. Great!  What else did they screw up??

We return about 5 pm after a stop at AutoZone to pick up a trailer light.  They install it for us and we are finally back on the road about 7 pm.

Bet you are wondering what happened next!!

 

 

 

Tow Dolly – Not Loving It

As you saw in our Crazy Car Drama post, we had to purchase a new tow vehicle.  After much consideration, we purchased the same thing we had before, just 11 years newer.

Italics are John’s comments.

Unfortunately, we couldn’t find a place to make it flat-towable before we wanted to leave SO we purchased a tow dolly.  Instead of buying a used one, we went for a new one through Camping World.  (I know – we could have found it cheaper elsewhere BUT they are nationwide and if there was an issue, they would be able to take care of it.  We assumed it wouldn’t happen – little did we know!)

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First, we ordered it and it took a week to arrive at the local Camping World.  They call on Monday and say it will be ready for pick up on Thursday.  WHAT??  What can possible need to be done that it takes 3 or 4 days??  (The wheels and ratchets need to be put on.)

Keep in mind we were planning to leave on Monday or Tuesday so what’s a couple of days??

John finally gets the call about 3:30 on Thursday that it is ready to pick up.  By the time he gets home, the right rear light has fallen off.  He calls camping world and they say to bring it in.  On his way home from Camping World, he stops at Autozone and picks up a new rear light, just in case!   And on his way home about 1/2 mile from the house, John turns the corner and there is our light – broken, but found!

On Friday morning, we finish the last minute packing and head out, assuming we are quickly going to leave Camping World.  When we arrive, they say they will have to order the light (which we purchased for $8!) and it will be about a week.  Well, NO!  You are going to use this one we purchased (they never offered to reimburse us for this.)

As we are standing there, I ask “Aren’t there supposed to be ratchets for each front wheel?”  Sure enough, there is!  One of them was either stolen while at Camping World OR it also fell off.  We were going for stolen.  These are bolted on, how could it fall off???

They modified some ratchets to work on the missing side and agree to order and overnight ship the replacement to us when it arrives.

So we finally leave Friday afternoon after spending 5 hours at Camping World.

We travel along and get to Amarillo, Texas on Sunday afternoon.  We are finally starting to feel like it is a vacation.  As we pull into the campground, the trailer ramps are dragging really noisily.  We get to our site and THE OTHER RATCHET LOST A BOLT and the left CAR WHEEL WAS PARTIALLY ON THE RAMP!!  So now we know it wasn’t stolen!

We call Camping World and they recommend taking it to the nearest Camping World – in Lubbock 125 miles away!  I quite forcefully tell them to call and make sure they can help us.  “Oh, we’re sorry, they are closed until tomorrow!”

So on Monday morning we take off for Lubbock and before we arrive I call them and they happen to have the same trailer in stock and will be able to replace both ratchets!

Lubbock Camping World had us on the road in about an hour!!  They also used some sort of solution (Hold Tight Thread Lock) on the bolts to make sure they wouldn’t loosen.

So how do we feel about the tow dolly?  Ask us when we finish vacation!  (It is definitely more work to load the car and get ready than flat towing.)