Wednesday, April 4, 2012


All of our REPAIR time was not spent solving RV problems. We saved some time for the Suzuki SUV.

Back in February we were staying at Cathedral Palms RV Park so we would be in the area to go to see the Palm Desert Senior Games. Another good thing about Cathedral Palms is that it is located just a mile from the $1 movie that we frequent!!

One afternoon we drove over to see a movie. As we turned into the parking lot, Ken noticed a sign at Goodyear Corporate Tire & Service advertising Oil Change and Lube for $20.95. We could leave the car there for an oil change while we went to the movie and pick the car up after the movie.

A good plan it was except when we went for the car, Andy the manager had a nice little surprise for us! He told from their inspection they would recommended we have the Transmission flushed -- he showed Ken how it was black! Also he said the brakes needed work, disc pads needed to be replaced and the two axle boots on the front axles were in bad condition so the CV Axles should be replaced soon!! Ken saw evidence of that as well!! What to do???

We decided to wait for the Transmission flush that day -- it only took about 30 minutes. We set up an appointment the next day to have the rest of the work done. Hey!! We could go to another movie!!

Everything went according to plan, except - this time when we went to pick up the car after the brake work was to have been completed, Andy told us the supplier had sent a wrong part and the car was not ready. Andy was so apologic. He said his service man could drive us back to the RV Park and pick us up the next day when the car was ready. That would be OK with us. Just pick us up at 1:00 PM so we would be back in time to see another movie before getting our car!!

And that's how we worked it out to have all of that work done on the Suzuki.

Ken and Andy discussing the estimate of all the work to be done.

Ken felt it was a really good thing we had the work done when we did! We were very impressed with the work done by Goodyear Corporate Tire & Service. Andy and his staff were great to work with!! We highly recommend Andy and Goodyear Corporate Tire & Service at the corner of Dinah Shore and Date Palm in Cathedral City for all your auto needs!! And - you can catch a movie ($1.25) while you wait!!!


So you think all we do is play Pickleball and eat!! Not so!!! Following are ten postings about some of the "fun" of full timing in an RV!!

I don't usually Blog about bad things that happen, but Mark and Chris tell about their experiences at the Tiffin factory. So do Dancin' Dottie and Larry. So I thought it is time for me to share some of our not-so-good experiences!!!!!!

This series of articles begins in early 2011 and goes through March 2012, so you can follow the events as they happened. You may need to go to Older Posts to read all of them. To do so, click on Older Posts at the bottom of the page. To return Home, click on Home at the bottom of any page.

This will give you some idea of how we spend our time when we are not playing Pickleball and eating!!!


February 2011 – Our Splendide Washer Dryer stopped working in December! When we pushed the on button, no lights, no power. Nothing!! What the heck??!! We had just replaced it in April 2010 when the dryer element went out!! We contacted Sundance Custom RV, a mobile service at TT Palm Springs. Sundance discovered the circuit board showed evidence of power surge damage which would most likely not be covered under warranty. We had no knowledge of a power surge. Sundance contacted Westland Sales (Splendide) and they agreed to cover all costs except $55. They shipped a new circuit board which Sundance installed.

Great job, Sundance!!


March 2011 – Our trash can under the kitchen sink kept getting water in the bottom. Finally, I realized we had a slight leak in the plumbing. Freddy G., a mobile RV service at TT Palm Springs, replaced the pipes. The required plumbing was not available locally, so Freddy G. bought parts from Home Depot and put together the plumbing we needed. Now we have stainless steel plumbing under the kitchen sink! Freddy G. was funny, too. He said “What would all your friends say if they saw a Mexican dude in your rig?”

This Mexican did a great job on our plumbing!


July – August 2011 – Our Norcold Refrigerator was not cooling properly AGAIN!! So we carried it by Camelot in Cottonwood to check it out. They advised there was another recall on that model and that may correct the problem. We pointed out that we had a new Cooling Unit installed in August 2010 and Camping World said the recall was taken care of in the new Unit. But, there was a recall on the recall, so Gerry at Camelot ordered the part.

SIDEBAR: Can you believe this?? While at Camelot, we raised the TV antenna to watch a little TV while we waited. When we started to leave, we forgot all about the antenna and it caught on a low hanging branch and broke the antenna! We didn’t use the antenna for a while and when we returned to let Camelot take care of the Norcold recall kit, they replaced the TV antenna with a new one!!

We pretty much spent July having problems with the Norcold Refrigerator not cooling. We contacted Norcold ourselves to be certain they knew about the problems so that if it turned out to be the Cooling Unit, it would be covered under warranty which expired in late August. The one year warranty was about to expire!

During the process, we were surprised when Gerry at Camelot said they were closing down for two weeks’ vacation and didn’t have time to deal with our Norcold!! So we turned the matter over to Paul’s Mobile RV in TT Verde Valley. Paul provided Norcold all the information they requested on this huge check list so a new Cooling Unit would be covered under warranty. Then Paul went on vacation for a couple of weeks!

Finally, in September the new Cooling Unit was installed and after a few more tweaks, we had a working Norcold refrigerator!! YEAH!!


In August, our Heart Interface Inverter stopped working! It’s the piece of equipment that converts our 12 volt system to 110 when we are not connected to an electric box. Paul of Paul’s Mobile RV Service took one look and recommended that we contact Tekris near Phoenix to see if they had a rebuilt inverter that would work for us. It would be a lot less expensive than ordering a new one!

Tekris happened to have one Xantex Freedom inverter in stock, which they said is the same as the Heart Interface. We took a drive to Phoenix to pick up the rebuilt Inverter. Tekris was a good group to work with. They even refunded $75 for our broken inverter. We discovered “Tekris” is the combination of two words: Tech and Kris the name of the owner.

Here is Ken with the Shop Manager, picking up the Xantex Freedom Inverter.

Paul installed the Xantex Freedom Inverter at TT Verde Valley. The Xantex Freedom worked OK.


This is a good one! Or a bad one!!! In August when we moved from TT Verde Valley to ROD Camp Verde for our week out, we were parked so far from the electrical box and Ken had to unwind the entire length of the 50 amp cord to reach it. When he did, he discovered that the ends of both the 30 amp and 50 amp cords were burned up as well as the end on the Hughes Autoformer!! Apparently, at some time the Autoformer had protected the motor home from a power surge but sacrificed itself in the process. We had not realized the Autoformer was no longer working! Could this have been the cause of all of our electrical problems??

We called Hughes Autoformer in Anaheim, CA. We would be in that area in early October. An appointment was set up when they would rebuild the Autoformer. In the meantime, Ken simply bypassed the bad Autoformer. Everything is working great!!

Here is the rebuilt Hughes Autoformer. It really surprised that Hughes took care of replacing parts in the Autoformer while we were at lunch!!! Our entire electrical system seems to be working fine!


This was “fun” (NOT)! A great beginning for 2012 (NOT)!! We had our first experience with Red’s RV Spot, near TT Palm Springs, and probably our last!! A minor problem turned into a major mess. It all started with the Toilet Hand Spray leaking. (For those who do not RV, our toilets do not have a water tank; instead, they have a hand spray to help clean the toilet bowl.) While Ken was replacing the hand spray, another part, the vacuum breaker, broke. We checked several RV places and Red’s RV Spot could get the part the next day. They even offered to install the part for us! Great, we thought.

But. A couple of weeks later the Toilet began to leak around the base. When Ken called Red’s, he was told the Owner, Ron, would come by to see why the Toilet was leaking and what needed to be done. But it was Oz who came by. Ken told him he wanted them to put in a new wax seal. After the wax seal was installed, the Toilet would not open properly! Then they discovered the plastic gear in the foot pedal was broken. We had heard stories of RVers who had spent a fortune repairing their Toilet and ended up buying a new one. We decided it was time to get a whole new Toilet!!! We drove over to Red’s and stood beside their lady, looking over her shoulder, when she ordered the replacement to be delivered the next day: SeaLand Traveler Low Profile, China Bowl, White with Hand Spray.

The next morning, Oz from Red’s came by and installed the new Toilet! A Thetford Aqua-Magic, China Bowl, Low White with Hand Spray! It was not a SeaLand Traveler!!! It is a different shape and larger than our original Toilet!! How did that happen??!! And the labor charge was more than we expected. We drove over to Red’s and talked with Ron. He agreed to reduce the labor charge by one hour. No one could explain how the new Toilet was different from the one that was ordered. Ron did say they would check into it and let us know why we got the wrong Toilet bowl. We still have not heard anything from Ron. The Thetford is a nice Toilet so we will just live with it!!

Here is the new Thetford Toilet! A little overbearing for our small bathroom!

We ran into Al at the Palm Desert Senior Games in February. He jokingly told us he looked at our Blog every day, expecting to see a picture of me sitting on the new Toilet!! HA HA Sorry, Al. That's not going to happen!!


Our jack problems began in August 2010 when the left front jack would not come up unless Ken pried it up. We had it checked at Camping World in Burlington, WA and found we needed a new jack but HWH was eight weeks out on their orders. We did nothing! Left Washington. The jack worked fine for a year.

In the middle of August 2011, while we were in Cottonwood, AZ, the left front jack acted up again. It would not come up unless Ken pried it up. We went by Camelot. They diagnosed the problem as a barb or bend in the Jack. This time we did have the HWH jack replaced! And it did not take eight weeks for HWH to fill our order!!

Not two weeks later we were setting up at the Cottonwood Elks camping area. When we lowered the jacks, the right rear jack hit and slipped off the railroad tie that the Elks had placed at the back of each site. This caused the foot plate at the bottom of the jack to slip off the jack arm. We called Paul’s Mobile RV Service to come by and help us get the jack back up. (He was planning to come by to check on the Norcold Refrigerator anyway.) He noticed fluid leaking from the jack. Bad News!! Paul took the jack off and discovered the pressure switch had been damaged in the mishap! Another HWH jack had to be replaced!! Like we don’t have enough problems! We have to create problems!!

But the story of the jacks is not over yet!! Oh, no!! In February 2012 the HWH Hydraulic Levelers would not come down!! Oh, no!! That can’t be good!! We stopped by Temecula Valley RV Service as we were leaving TT Wilderness Lakes. They spent half a day just diagnosing the problem. They discovered the jack motor was bad and had to be replaced. Two weeks later, we returned to Temecula Valley RV to have the motor replaced as we were returning to TT Wilderness Lakes!!

But the tale of the HWH jacks is still not over!!! In March the left front HWH jack began leaking fluid and would not hold level!! Again we stopped by Temecula Valley RV to have it checked out!! This time we were lucky!! The jack was repaired in just a few hours!!

We certainly hope that is the end of the problems with HWH Hydraulic Leveling System!!!


At the end of February, when we were at Temecula Valley RV having the jack motor replaced, we asked Bill our Service Representative if they could check out the Norcold Refrigerator. It was not cooling properly!! And we had just had a new Cooling Unit installed in August 2011. You guessed it!! It was the Cooling Unit again!!

We checked into Temecula Valley RV on March 7th to have the new Cooling Unit installed. But! When they removed the Cooling Unit from the refrigerator, they discovered other damages to the refrigerator itself. Bill said the refrigerator could not (or should not) be repaired!! Bad News!!

Here is the back of the Norcold Refrigerator after they removed it.

This was the major problem. The Vacuum Seal had been cut somewhere, somehow!!

This looks pretty bad. Apparently, it was!

This plate is cutting into the electric wires!! BAD!!

Did we want to get a new Norcold Refrigerator?? I don’t think so!!! Friends Del and Jerry have an Allegro Bus similar to ours. They had recently replaced their Norcold refrigerator like ours with a residential Hotpoint Refrigerator from Home Depot. We called them to get the details, and went shopping at Home Depot! There were a few units that would almost fit the space left by the Norcold, but the model purchased by Del and Jerry seemed the best bet. We bought the Black Hotpoint HTR16ABSRBB. It was to be delivered on Friday afternoon to Temecula Valley RV. There was no way the refrigerator could be installed before the weekend.

We went off to play with Ken’s family for a long weekend. On Tuesday morning early, service men at Temecula Valley RV were ready to install the new Hotpoint Refrigerator. You cannot imagine our apprehensions! But the guys at Temecula Valley RV took care of everything!! They did a great job installing and trimming out the new refrigerator!

The service men were happy to pose for pictures!! In fact, the suggested I'd want a picture of the window space. That's the old 4-door Norcold in the background.

They had to remove the dining room window to get the Norcold out and the Hotpoint in! The space just beyond the mirrors is the space where the new refrigerator will fit.

And here is the new Hotpoint Refrigerator!! It actually looks like it belongs in the kitchen. I'm even getting used to the difference in the interior space design from our Norcold.

I really think we'll like it!! Thanks Temecula Valley RV!!


I just have to tell you more about Temecula Valley RV. They have made an otherwise stressful time much easier to bear. They are not only conveniently located near TT Wilderness Lakes, they are very professional, knowledgeable and thorough. And they are the nicest people.

Bill, our service representative, always told us exactly what needed to be done, presented an estimate of the cost and time it would take. He was right on every time!

It amazed us how smoothly they could move from one job to the next problem. Like the time we went in to have the jack motor replaced -- and by the way, could you check out our refrigerator?? Bill not only checked it out, he was on the phone with Norcold and somehow convinced them another Cooling Unit should be under Warranty!! Nothing seemed beyond their abilities.

We have been to Temecula Valley RV so many times recently; it almost feels like going home!! Thanks guys for many great jobs done!!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012


One last posting about the new residential Hotpoint Refrigerator!!

After we had put all our food from the coolers into the new refrigerator, Ken mentioned that he thought we should get something like tension curtain rods to brace the refrigerator door closed when we travel. I said I didn't think curtain rods would be sturdy enough to hold the door closed. Then we forgot all about it!!


We were traveling from TT Palm Springs to TT Wilderness Lakes, about 65-70 miles. We were almost there when we heard an enormous crash!! What was that??!! I'm sure you've guessed it!!

I had stored all of the pickles, relish, chili sauce, and the like in a container I had saved from the old Norcold refrigerator. And I had stored all the butter, cheeses and other deli items in another container.

The un-braced refrigerator door had swung open!! Both containers had crashed to the tile floor!! Pickles, olives, jalapeno peppers, chili sauce, etc. were all over the floor, and all the deli items were covered with pickle juice and chili sauce!!

The rest of our trip was spent with me on my knees gathering up this mess with paper towels and throwing it into the trash can!! We scrubbed the tile floor two times before we finally felt clean!!

Then Ken said that Del said she used a shower curtain tension rod to brace the refrigerator door when they travel. Oh!! Now you tell me!! It was a shower curtain rod!! Not a curtain rod!!! Needless to say, we now have a shower curtain tension rod to use to brace the door when we travel!!!


Monday, April 2, 2012


We have had to change our travel dates. Please check out the new schedule in the right-hand column.