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.

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!