What Now?

I’ve received a lot of email and some comments from those following our blog about our current situation. We have been stranded here for the past few weeks at the dealer. First by a punctured oil pan to our car, then by a failed heating system and then by a damaged awning.

We found out earlier this week that the parts for the awning are at least two weeks out. We had made plans to visit with some friends today and we’ve decided to pull up our jacks and head out to our originally booked site tomorrow and then return to the dealer later this month once the parts have arrived.

Obviously we never planned to be here this long. Here is a copy of a reply I made to a comment on yesterday’s post.

We had left the coach at the dealer back in early August to allow them the time to address a number of product recalls and technical bulletins issued by Newmar. We also had several items we wanted done on the coach including the tow bar system for our toad.

We had planned to be here for two days as that was the original estimate for installing the baseplate on our Lincoln. We arrived on September 18th and we thought that we would be on our way by the 20th.

The base plate installation took them much longer than expected and we were told that the car would be ready on the Friday the 21st. Unfortunately, as they brought the car down from the hoist, the area underneath the car was not clear and the oil pan was punctured. They had also done some minor cosmetic damage to the front grill.

It then took another week before the parts for the car arrived and the repairs were completed on the car. We got the car back on September 28th.

A few days before the 28th, we had the dealer follow up on a couple of issues as a result of their service work: the Oasis heating system was not operating properly and the awnings were not extending properly.

They attended to those issues at different times. The Oasis heating system issue was resolved. On the 28th, the day that we were to get our car back, they took the coach in to service the awning and that is when the awning inexplicably extended while they were bringing the coach into the service bay. The awning made contact with the service building causing severe damage to the casing and to the deployment mechanism.

Until then, we had every expectation that we would be out by September 29th. We were in limbo until October 9th as the dealer, Newmar and Girard tried to figure out what caused the unintended deployment and how to deal with the repair.

We were finally updated on the new timeline Tuesday of this week. The parts will not arrive to Newmar until October 20th. And, from there, it will take another 4 days to arrive at the dealer. Their estimate to paint the casing and to install it on the coach is another 2 days.

We might not see the awning arrive until October 26th which means we won’t be away until October 31st. Just in time to cross the border.

Unfortunately, we gain nothing by crossing the border early to save 4 days or so. Newmar is in Indiana, way out of our way. And, being Canadian snowbirds, the earlier we cross, the earlier we have to return.

Canada, in March, is still very much in winter.

Our choice is to pick up the jacks and head out to our originally booked site — roughly 6 hours round trip — and return when the parts have arrived in two weeks. Or stay here until then.

We had made plans with friends to meet up with them today which is why we are still here. We might head out to our originally booked site this weekend and then return for the 26th.

We never planned on spending 6 weeks here.

Timeline

There is our coach with both awnings intact and operating perfectly.

The only problem? That was last year. This year, during a service call, the dealer had an accident with our coach and damaged our front awning. The awning inexplicably deployed while the coach was in motion and the awning impacted the service building as the coach was being brought into a service bay.

This is the start of week four at the dealership. We were only supposed to be here for two days.

Discussions took place between Newmar, the builder of our coach, Girard, the manufacturer of our awnings and our dealer. It was agreed that Newmar would cover the expense associated with resolving the issue. Thank you Newmar. And a course of action was agreed upon by those three parties.

We only just found out the timeline yesterday.

October 24th.

Two weeks from today.

That is when the parts will arrive at the dealer. Assuming, of course, that they arrive on time at Newmar. Newmar is expected to receive the parts from Girard on the 20th. Newmar will then forward the shipment to the dealer.

Not sure why the parts are not coming direct from Girard to the dealer but there it is.

Two days to install if everything goes smoothly.

This brings us very close to our planned crossing of the border on November 1st.

It is also very close to the onset of winter conditions in this part of Ontario.

Temperatures should stay above freezing for the next two weeks. We could lose access to water in our coach if the temperatures go below freezing for any length of time. The campgrounds in this area close this weekend and shut off their water lines because of the potential for freezing temperatures at this time of year. We could boondock from our fresh water tank for a few days and I do have tank heaters to protect the coach from freezing temperatures but I would rather avoid all of that fun if possible.

We do have the option of going to our site in Sherkston Shores for the next ten to twelve days. We would incur a fairly hefty fuel cost to go back and forth.

We are in a meeting with the service manager later this morning to review the situation.

Not sure what to do right now.

Regardless, we are at least two more weeks before we get the issue resolved.

Passing The Time Away

We won’t be leaving the dealer any time soon. We are going to be spending Canadian Thanksgiving at The Hitch House.

We have been here for two weeks and it looks very much like it will be at least three weeks before we are back on our way.

Everything is fine though. We are pretty much living as we expected in retirement. We love our coach. It really is a beautiful space for the two of us and for Tabby. We have a nice site at the dealer. It is quiet and private. The only inconvenience is that we need to dump tanks every five to six days. That requires us to pack up the coach, drive about 20 kms, empty our tanks and then return and set up the coach again.

And there is a lot going on in our lives so no shortage of things to do.

This past weekend I did sound for a live event in Guelph, Ontario. I also recorded the event. The picture above was a shot of Lorraine helping me at the sound console. Lorraine was prompting me through the cue sheet. At that moment in time, I was asking her what was going to happen next in the program. We had four bands, an MC, a guest speaker and multimedia running throughout the evening. Lots of inputs to manage. At times there were over 20 people on stage and upwards of 32 active inputs.

Kept me on my toes.

It all went so well. Late night though. We left the dealer at 9am. Arrived at the sound rental site at 11am. Packed vehicles with lots of gear and did our load-in and setup. Surprisingly, I was able to get ready for sound checks by 2:30pm. Worked through the various bands — I was handling front of house, monitors and event recording — until 6pm. Event started at 7pm. Finished at 10pm. Tear down took a couple of hours.

We did not get back to the hotel until close to 1 am. I then did an audio engineering seminar the following afternoon for 3 hours, teaching a team of 6 audio engineers about mixing for live streaming and how to operate a specific model of digital console. Then straight back to the dealer.

Pretty full week-end.

I’m now spending my days and evenings working up the tracks from Saturday’s event in my mobile Pro Tools rig. I suspect that you would not see too many of these setups in a motorcoach.

So much capability in a rig of this size. Fully featured console, accurate monitoring through the Genelecs and some high-end headphones and, of course, the Pro Tools platform.

Roughly two and a half hours of recording to edit and mix. Might take me a couple of weeks all in to get a release candidate out to the artists for sign-off.

The event was shot on video and the video production company will need the two track mix to finish their post production work. I gave them a guide track of the house mix during the event. Once they have the completed mix, they can align the finished mix with the guide track.

It is fine with me that we will be here for another week or two. I have lots to keep me busy.

As long as we are good to go across the border on November 1st.

It is starting to get cold now.

My primary objective in retirement is never to be cold again.

Still Here

This is a screenshot from my Lincoln app off my iPhone. The app has a cool tracking feature where you can geolocate the car. Handy if you trying to figure out where your car might be.

The blue spot is where our coach has been parked for almost two weeks now.

The yellow spot is where the car had been sitting for most of that time.

We did get it back on Friday. I suspected it was ready to be delivered when the app told me that my car was moving. I followed the test drive in near real time.

Baseplate for the tow bar successfully installed.

Braking system for the car successfully installed.

New oil pan successfully installed.

New chrome grill plate successfully installed.

Progress.

We were away for the weekend. Action packed and I’ll definitely need a few days to recover from it all. It was wonderful to come back to our coach even if we are still stranded at the dealer.

Today we will be looking to get some kind of timeline for when we can be on our way.

From what I know at this point, the coach will need the parts to replace the awning, time in the paint bay, and some testing and fine-tuning to make sure all is well with the equipment.

I spoke with the service manager on Friday and he believes that there is some kind of firmware bug in the awning system.

We have four weeks remaining before we cross the border.

Hopefully this all gets resolved before then.

Oh and our hot water and hydronic heat continues to work.

Thankful for the small things in life.

10 Days And Counting

We’ve called to let them know that we are still planning to use our site at Sherkston Shores. We’ll just be two weeks or more late arriving.

We were supposed to be at our staging site for our trip south in the Fort Erie area last Thursday. When we actually get to our staging site is anyone’s guess.

Some progress though. My car should be back today. The dealer assures me that all is fine with the car. And I hope that is the case.

I have an app on my iPhone that talks to my car. The car has its own modem and sends out messages about how it is feeling. And the car has been telling me that it has not been feeling all that well lately.

Multiple Vehicle Health Alerts were issued for the car. Not unusual I suppose. Losing all of the engine oil due to a punctured oil pan is bound to make any vehicle a tad unwell.

Everything is apparently back in order with the car. I’ll find out later today.

The site we have is very nice. Quiet, private and well landscaped so we really are not suffering here at all.

Which is a good thing. Newmar, Girard (manufacturer of the awning) and the dealer are still working out what to do with the unintended exodus of the awning while the coach was in motion.

It looks like they will replace everything. That might take another week by the time the parts arrive and the dealer gets the new parts installed.

Thank heavens the awning did not extend while we were driving the coach. That would not have been a good thing.