Unexpected

You can make out my little office area on the right side of the coach.

Everything is just perfect, really.

Apple TV is playing some nice smooth jazz and the screens are running some beautiful screen savers.

My amazing golden retriever is laying right at my feet. All she wants in this world, besides food and affection, is to be at my side.

I miss Lorraine even though she has only been gone a few hours. I found out pretty much at the last minute that I would be doing not only the recording of a concert event in Guelph on Saturday, but also Front of House sound.

Only the concert organizers hadn’t really given too much thought to the equipment list.

I spent several hours this morning doing some last minute rentals. Lots of equipment was needed including some critical pieces back in our storage unit in Kingston.

Lorraine is making the 4-hour drive back there now. She will stay overnight at our son’s house and make her way back to the dealer tomorrow morning.

No rush really.

Our coach is going nowhere fast.

We had a few issues come up during our time here.

Several of them unexpected. Now keep in mind that our dealer has been terrific through all of this. Just a series of unexpected issues.

A punctured oil pan on our toad.

A sudden loss of heat and hot water.

And a broken awning.

A really broken awning.

The oil pan puncture was an accident. When the baseplate for the toad was getting installed, the dealer had the car up on the lift. When it was brought down, there was something directly underneath the oil pan that did not yield.

The oil pan should be replaced tomorrow along with a new grill piece so I am hoping to have our car back soon.

The heat and hot water seems to be working now. I hope it continues to work as we really do need this heating system functional.

Back in September of 2017 we experienced a failure of the Oasis heating system. ITR, the company that manufactures this system, spent several hours on the phone guiding me through some troubleshooting steps. Ultimately it came down to a bad pump which they later replaced for us. We were able to get hot water by exiting the coach, opening the bay door to the Oasis system, reaching up to the top of the distribution module and engaging a bypass rocker. Once finished with the hot water, we had to go back and turn off the bypass. Inconvenient but at least we had hot water. Fortunately it was very warm weather last September so the lack of a heating system was of no concern.

The coach went back into storage last October without resolving the Oasis issue. We brought it out of storage to the dealer in August. ITR sent the replacement pump later that month and it was installed by the dealer.

When the dealer replaced the pump, unfortunately they replaced the wrong one.

The system worked for a little while and then suddenly stopped working last night.

They re-replaced the pump. Hopefully they got the right one replaced this time.

And the awning?

Well, that was supposed to be a fairly straightforward fix. The coach has two awnings on the passenger side, mounted inside a casing that runs topside. It looked to me that the casing had loosened somewhat and overextended the top of the coach by an inch or so.

The casing was realigned and tightened however, when I extended the two awnings after that fix, there was something clearly amiss with the front awning. It did not extend fully and the awning was not taut.

Again, not a major issue. A few adjustments topside and the awning should be good.

But something very unusual happened on the way into the service bay.

The awning extended.

While the coach was in motion!

That is never supposed to happen.

When the ignition is engaged, the awning is supposed to be locked in place.

What happened next is not pretty.

The service person bringing the coach into the service bay was not aware that the awning was extending as he was moving.

Impact.

We’re here for another week.

Homeless

Our car is still out of commission and likely won’t be ready until late Wednesday. We remain stranded at our dealer as we await repairs.

The coach had to go into the shop today for a couple of items one of which was totally necessary and yet totally discretionary: a WiFi and 4G LTE Extender.

We had the dealer install the Winegard Connect 2.0 unit which provides an access point for the 20 Internet capable devices that we carry on board the coach. They now connect to the coach’s local network — the access point — and I only have to change one device — the Winegard Connect — to point to either a WiFi source or an LTE source.

20 Internet capable devices?

Yes indeed.

Smart TVs: 3 of them
Apple TVs: 2 of them
iMac: 1 of them
MacBook Pro: 1 of them
iPads: 3 of them
iPhones: 2 of them
Sonos Speakers: 4 of them
Logitech Harmony Remotes: 2 of them
Pioneer AV Receiver: 1 of them
Sony Playstation 4: 1 of them

We were without the coach until about 6pm this evening.

Homeless.

Our golden retriever was in her crate for most of the day in one of the offices at the dealer. Lorraine and I ran a few errands but also spent most of the day in one of the offices at the dealer.

The coach will go back in for a few hours at 8am tomorrow.

We likely won’t see the car until end of day tomorrow.

We should hopefully be back on our way on Thursday with our car in tow.

Stranded

We arrived at the dealer last Tuesday to get our towbar installed on our Lincoln MKX. They had told us that they would need two days to get the baseplate installed on our car. We had arranged to stay at the dealer’s campsite Tuesday night and Wednesday night expecting to leave on the Thursday.

It is now Monday.

We may not get out of here before the end of this week.

Turns out the installation was a bit more involved with the Lincoln and, as part of the process, there was some damage to the car: broken chrome trim on the front grill and a punctured oil pan. Not sure how the oil pan got damaged in the process.

Parts to repair the damage won’t arrive until tomorrow (maybe). Then a day or two to make good the repairs and to finish the installation.

Lorraine and I have been on a hybrid boondock since last Tuesday. We have 50 amp power and water but no sewage. We’ve already made one trip to the local KOA to dump our tanks as the dealer does not have any dump facilities.

We weren’t really following water restriction protocols because we had only planned to be here for two nights as opposed to 10 or 12 nights.

I had arrived to the dealer a wee bit low on fuel. They did some servicing work on the coach which included a bit of driving around and the tank had reached a level where the Low Fuel Alarm was buzzing.

Before dumping our tanks, we had to refuel.

There is a gas station next to the dealership. The clearance is 4.1 metres or about 161 inches. We are about 154 inches at ride height however we had a cellular booster installed and an antenna now extends above our roofline by what appears to be about 6 inches or so.

I wasn’t sure we would get the coach underneath the overhang.

We would not have had enough fuel to get to the local KOA to dump our tanks, return back to the dealership and perhaps go to the local KOA a second time before a refuelling stop at a truck centre.

I gave the gas station a try. We were able to fit. Pumped about $450 of diesel into the tank. We were probably down to about 50 litres of fuel or about 150 kms of driving distance. Way too low for our rig.

The dealer has been great though. They provided us with a car and the site itself is very nice and private.

I’ve been able to get out on the bike and train although the after workout shower is not much fun. We are rationing the water until we get to a full hook-up site.

Showers, to quote Hobbes, are nasty, brutish and short.

It is very cold at night now. Lows are hitting about 5 Celsius or 41 Fahrenheit. Radiant floor heating is on during the evening and our furnace has also kicked in a few times overnight.

5 more weeks before we head south. Hopefully we beat the onset of the winter weather!

Maintenance Check

Our coach has been with the dealer since early August dealing with a number of issues and recalls and a few additional items.

The issue list:

  • Side radiator lower grill almost disconnected from body of coach
  • Oasis hot water heater pump failure which requires a replacement pump
  • Full wall slideout uneven and the slideout floor rises up after it has been deployed
  • Front passenger side levelling jack leaking hydraulic fluid
  • HWH levelling system not operating correctly
  • Full length of Girard Awning Casing on top of passenger side of coach overhangs coach body by about an inch (Girard Awning Casing/Housing is not fully retracted)
  • Hole in roof (very front and centre of roof membrane where the front cap angles down and meets the roof line)

The technical service bulletin and recall list:

  • 472 TSB: Slideout Motor Mounting Bolts (this is the second TSB related to slideout motor mounting bolts so we need to validate that they are appropriately secured)
  • 483 RSB (Recall 17V 420): Driver Passenger Shade may operate with ignition on
  • 485 TSB: Freightliner Wiper Control Software Update
  • 486 TSB: MCD Remote Shade Motor Replacement
  • 488 RSB (Recall 17V 497): Battery Cable May Rub Against Frame (potential fire hazard)
  • 493 PIB: Freightliner Lightbar: instrument panel odometer value may reset and not match the engine ECU odometer value
  • 512 RSB: Recall 18V 245: Low Beams Do Not Illuminate with High Beams

New items to be installed:

We received the following update from our dealer:

I just wanted to drop a quick note to let you know we have received the Oasis pump for your coach. We are still on track with your timeline.

As I may have mentioned before on the phone, most of the tasks have been completed with few exceptions: We are waiting on parts for one of the recall issues (a wiring harness) that has not yet arrived. The issue with the levelling jack is tied with the issue of the slide floor raising, both having to do with a failed solenoid at the hydraulic pump. That has been covered by the extended warranty, with the exception that you will have to cover the shipping on the part along with your deductible. And of course, we now have the Oasis pump which can be installed.

I will continue to keep you informed as we progress with your coach. Have a great weekend!

We had contacted ITR about the issue we had with the Oasis Heating System. Last fall, I had spent several hours in the basement of our coach, on the phone with ITR technical support, attempting to get the pump working so that we could get hot water. No joy. There were known issues with the pumps that ITR had used in our model year and they either changed the design or the supplier or perhaps both. ITR agreed to send us a new pump without charge — thank you ITR — and the only concern was whether the pump would arrive in time for us to get it installed in our coach.

It has arrived so we will have hot water on demand again. We did have hot water after the pump failed but we had to hack the system by changing the loops through a bypass switch. It meant that whenever we needed hot water, we had to exit the coach, open the bay to the Oasis system and turn a hidden switch on the main control unit. Once we were finished using the hot water, we had to go back outside the coach and turn the hidden switch off. Inconvenient.

A failed solenoid is a bit of a surprise to me and hopefully that resolves the slideout issue and the HWH levelling issue. Our extended warranty has a $200 deductible. I’ll be interested to see how much it cost to resolve the issue under extended warranty.

Looks like most of the items have been completed now with about two weeks left to go.

We take our car in to the dealer on September 19th to have the Blue Ox system installation completed. They will walk us through the process of hooking up our toad and making sure that the system is working properly.

Haven’t pulled a toad behind our coach as yet. I will be interested to see what it is like.

September 21st we leave the dealer and make our way to Sherkston Shores for a few weeks before heading south.

The adventures begin.

Coach Maintenance

When we return from our retirement vacation we will be taking our coach in for service.

The coach will be at the dealer for about a month or so before we take it out on the road.

Why so much time in service? Well, let’s just say we have a bit of a list.

Issues:

  • Side radiator lower grill almost disconnected from body of coach
  • Oasis hot water heater pump failure
  • Full wall slideout uneven — rises up a quarter inch or so after slides are deployed which has been an ongoing issue since we purchased the coach and not yet resolved
  • Front passenger side levelling jack leaking hydraulic fluid
  • Full length of Girard Awning Casing on top of passenger side of coach overhangs coach body by about an inch (Girard Awning Casing/Housing is not fully retracted)
  • Hole in roof (very front and centre of roof membrane where the front cap angles down and meets the roof line and should be readily visible on inspection)

Recall notices and bulletins:

  • 472 TSB Slideout Motor Mounting Bolts (related to 466 TSB which we did… reading lots of reports of continued issues with these mounting bolts so we need to validate that they are appropriately secured)
  • 483 RSB Recall 17V 420: Driver Passenger Shade may operate with ignition on
  • 485 TSB Freightliner Wiper Control Software Update
  • 486 TSB MCD Remote Shade Motor Replacement
  • 488 RSB Recall 17V 497: Battery Cable May Rub Against Frame (potential fire hazard)
  • 493 PIB Freightliner Lightbar: instrument panel odometer value may reset and no match the engine ECU odometer value
  • 512 RSB Recall 18V 245: Low Beams Do Not Illuminate with High Beams
  • And any others that are specific to our coach

New items to be installed:

  • Tow bar system for the 2018 Lincoln MKX (a Blue Ox baseplate, a Blue Ox KarGard, a Blue Ox Towbar, and a Patriot Braking System)
  • WeBoost Cellular Booster

Regular coach service:

  • Service coach as per manufacturer’s recommendation