Friday, August 30, 2013

Things Don’t Just Come in Threes

Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.

August has not been a good month for us.  We started our bad luck off when our hot water photoheater in the motorhome bit the dust.  Then, the installer of the new tank knocked the pipe off the sink drain.  Naturally, we didn’t discover it until we tried to figure out why we were getting water all over our floor.  Now our floor really needs to be replaced.  Next, our awning ripped.  Obviously any ripped awning needs to be replaced if you hope to use. 

Wait --- we aren’t done yet.  Once we left the coast and arrived inland, we decided to swap vehicles so headed south on the freeway with the our Wrangler.  About two miles north of our exit, the engine just stopped.  We thought it was a fuel pump.  In hindsight, we wish it was a fuel pump.  It wasn’t.  It was the timing belt.  We’ve yet to find out if it also took the valves and maybe more with it.  Next, we returned to our little home base only to discover that our refrigerator had died.  Have you been counting the dollars ($$$$)?  We certainly have.  As I said, it’s not been a good month for us and then to top it off, I worry about Syria.  I worry about Justin being there.

Some RVers have roadside assistance with Good Sam and others with Coach-Net.  The fine print is a little different with both of them.  We know we understood it when we read it but it didn’t mean much until it was time to use it.  We’ve had Coach-Net’s road service for about 4 years. We’ve used it a few times and had mixed feelings with it – some okay and some just okay.
coachentWhen we were stuck on the side of the road we discovered what “unlimited towing” really means and what “towed to the nearest facility” means.  It definitely doesn’t mean unlimited towing.  It really means towed to the nearest service center they select. 

Coach-Net would tow us to the Jeep dealership. If I said that dealership was 10 miles from our breakdown location, I would be greatly exaggerating the distance but I’m giving Coach-Net the benefit here.  However, their chart indicated it was 36 miles!!  Heck, we could have been downtown Portland in less than 36 miles.  They would not tow us three miles down the road to a semi-truck lot and they would not tow us five miles to our son’s house.  Of course, they also would not tow us to our own mechanic either.  Do these roadside assistance places get kickbacks from the dealerships for each vehicle they have towed in?  Well, I asked the representative that question.  Obviously, she didn’t answer and just read back what the contract said …. to the nearest service facility.

At one time the representative indicated we were only allowed one tow a year.  That’s not the plan we paid for.  Another time she told us the maximum mileage we could be towed was 25 miles and anything beyond that was an additional fee.  That’s not the goodsameupgraded plan we paid for either.

Arrival time of the tow truck was also interesting.  We were first told the tow truck would take about 1 1/2 hours to arrive.  Then, we were told about 2 hours.  Next, we were told if we decided to go to the Jeep dealership, it would be there in 45 minutes. 

We were on the shoulder of the very busy I-5.  We weren’t interested in hanging around there any longer than necessary.  We called Michael and he just happened to be on his way back from Longview.  Thus, I had a ride to pick up our Liberty.  We decided to be our own tow truck!  Lee and Michael waited with the Wrangler while I took Terry to get the motorhome. We hooked up the Wrangler to the motorhome and took it to our own mechanic. photo (1)

Next we unloaded the kayaks from the Wrangler.  They were loaded into the back of Liberty and taken to our home base … one kayak at time.  We had planned on moving the motorhome back into Lee and Sabrina’s driveway while we worked on it but we since we were just a couple miles from the homebase so that’s where it went for now.

We were able to pull this off because we could tow the Wrangler.  Had it been the motorhome that would not have been an option.  That evening we decided to add a back-up to Coach-Net. We added a Good Sam Roadside Assistance card to that pile of cards we are already carrying.  Next year when Coach-Net runs out we’ll probably upgrade the Good Sam and go with it.

‘Tis life on the road.

Consider me very stressed!   --  USS Gravely DDG 107


  1. Yep you are not having a good month, and cannot blame you for being stressed. Hope things do work out for you.
    We had Good Sam a few years ago. Called to have a tire changed on our coach in a campground on labour day weekend, (were were in Canada) 90 minutes on the phone and they wanted to tow us to a tire dealer 50 miles away to put the spare tire on.
    Some campers helped me change the tire. So we switched to another company and this summer we needed to have our car towed. They were sending a tow truck from 2 hours away to tow us another two hours. Finally we called our own tow truck 15 minutes later he was there at at their facility.
    Now back to Good Sam, they now recognize us Canadians much better now.
    Hope Justin gets back home soon safe and sound.

  2. Not good at all. Sure does blow the budget in a big hurry. We have the upgraded Coach Net but it sure doesn't sound too promising. We also had Good Sam and weren't happy with them. I guess there isn't anything out there that really does what we need it to do. And I'm sure there's a kickback thing going on with them. Been thinking about Justin and saying lots of prayers.

  3. Bill and I used Good Sam in Butte, MT when the truck died. They didn't have anyone on their list but I found someone and paid the tow truck driver. Good Sam said to send the bill and they refunded the money. Another time in Roswell we needed the trailer towed and the tow truck was their before we found out the trailer couldn't be towed unless we removed the tire. (Broken spring).

  4. Wow! The buzz is Coach Net is the best out there. Of course, not to follow the crowd, we have Good Sam. :c) Hopefully, we'll never need it.

    I've often thought about having both of them. Maybe that is the way to go?

    Will CN reimburse you for your own tow job? That was clever. :c)

    Hope the engine isn't damaged. You need to have a break...oops that certainly was the wrong choice of words!

  5. Oh dear...thank goodness August is over tomorrow. Hope September brings you lots of happier traveling.

    Praying of Justin. This is such a volatile situation. I hate it.

  6. We've had the unfotunate luck to have to use our Good Sam service 3 times. It's always worked and I've been able to tell them where to tow us to. 2 flats and a breakdown near Denver. It took awhile for the tow truck (2hrs) but he didn't charge anything extra for the trailer behind the MH. So far, so good. Definately in the + column. Hope your luck in 3's changes..Enjoy your blog every day !! Charlie of "Rolling Earthquake".

  7. Thank goodness August is almost over...September guaranteed to be much better!

  8. I have "Good Doug" service. Not often it's something he can't fix on the spot.

    Great thinking to tow the Jeep with the motorhome.

    You are having our February 2013. Yikes.

  9. What a month - lots of expenses.

    Interesting story about Coach Net. We have Good Sam coverage, never had to use it and I sure hope that continues. I know if I cancelled it, I'd need a tow within our first 50 miles!!

    Sure hope your grandson stays safe and sound. I'll be looking up the USS Gravely to follow any reports of action.

  10. We have the Coach-Net Gold plan. It allows one tow per disablement and the tow is to "the nearest qualified repair facility as determined by Coach-Net." We had our motorhome break down last year and called Coach-net. They were great and worked with us on the various options. We both determined that the closest repair facility was 112 miles away in another state. They towed us there and we didn't pay a cent. Possibly the difference between you and us was that we were not near our home base and didn't have a favorite mechanic nearby. We did some research on the mechanic they recommended and went there. This mechanic was able to get us right in whereas others were not. They did good work and we were on our way.

  11. Wow! You guys have had enough bad luck to have distributed some to everyone in our group. Sort of glad you didn't but I sure feel for you. Good thing this month ends today. September has to be better.


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