Sunday, February 21, 2010

Waiting for Parts

We were rescued by a contract garage through the Good Sam Emergency Road Service program. The technician looked at the trailer and realized he couldn't do anything to fix it, so he escorted us about 20 miles down I-95 to his garage in Rocky Mount, NC. The garage is a big truck repair facility that does RV repairs on occasion. They decided we need to replace the entire axle assembly, which includes the brakes, etc. Problem is, they have no idea where to get the parts. While the manager there was trying to track down what was needed, we visited a small RV dealer/repair shop about 10 miles down the road. They agreed to help the garage track down the parts, and also consult with the garage on exactly what's needed. It turns out that there are several manufacturers of brakes for these things, and unless what goes on the new axle matches what's on the other axle exactly, we'll have problems.

So both shops are looking for the parts. Both promised to call me before COB Friday, but neither did. The truck shop has been in touch with the axle manufacturer and thinks there may be an axle in Indiana which may be able to be shipped here early next week. Now it's Sunday, and we hope to have more news tomorrow. Meanwhile, we've been exploring Rocky Mount and environs.

A side note: We used to think the idea of "Southern Hospitality" was something created by the Chamber of Commerce to get Yankees to spend money in the south. Having now spent several days here as something slightly different than tourists, we've come to realize that folks here are truly kind and helpful. The people at the truck repair facility have been totally accommodating and friendly, as have the people at the RV shop, who have spent a fair amount of time trying to help find the needed parts, even though they realize the repairs will actually be done at the truck facility. Not much in it for them, but they're helping anyway.

At the Marriott Residence Inn here, which is a pet-friendly hotel, the staff couldn't be more friendly and accommodating. We walked in without reservations, and after hearing our tale of woe, one of the desk people asked if we wanted a glass of wine or a beer after our hard day. Another desk clerk, when asked if he could recommend a boarding facility for cats (one option we were considering), he researched the question and in about 10 minutes provided us with a hand-written list of boarding facilities in the area, but also reminded us that the cats would be welcome at the hotel. So the cats are with us.

I don't know how long we'll be here. Our trip interruption insurance, which covers the hotel, runs out Wednesday, and at this point, we really would like to get home. Even after the trailer is fixed, I'm planning to bring it to the RV shop so they can check the other axle. I mean, if one wheel can fall off for no apparent reason, why would anyone think the others won't do the same? Right now, I don't have a lot of confidence in the trailer, so I'll want to have it checked over before we head home.

At least there's no snow on the ground here.


Blogger jettybeach said...

Are we having fun yet? I can't believe the nightmare you're experiencing. I'd have to say I wouldn't put much faith in the trailer either. Good idea to have it checked out for sure.
Phil was wondering why you were hanging out in Wilmington, NC. Do you just like the town, its barbeque or is it possible you know someone there? He says after reading your blog, he's not sure.

7:09 PM  

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