Sunday, July 23, 2017

New RV!

We traded in the Montana for a Grand Design Reflection 337RLS.  It's working out well so far, with a few glitches in the process, caused by the dealer rather than the rig itself.

Vicki had been anxious about the Montana, getting a feeling of imminent disaster.  We did have a lot of things fail and need repairs, and the latest round with Camping World was very unsatisfactory.  They did a poor job of it, and ripped us off in the process.  So she did a lot of research and liked what she found about Grand Design, and we looked at several models and settled on the 337RLS.  I went on the Internet, and clicked on the Blue Dog page to ask for a sales price, and for reasons unknown to us we got an appointment at the Post Falls, Idaho location.  It was not the closest, or the one we would have chosen, but we liked the salesman there and didn't mind repeatedly driving past other Blue Dog shops to get to Post Falls.

They had a suitable rig at their Oregon location, and we put dibs on it with a deposit.  It would take 4 days, they said, to get from Oregon to Idaho.  The next day, the inventory in Oregon was marked "sold", and we didn't know if that was because it was coming to us or because somebody else took it out from under us.  When we inquired, they told us they had gotten a call from the factory, and a new unit like we wanted had just come off the line, and would be here a couple of days later than the one from Oregon would have been here.  So we said we'd take it.  We still needed time to gather together the money into one place so we could write one check.

The days passed, and the RV wasn't there.  After a week our campground reservation ran out and we had to make arrangements to stay in the area longer than we had planned.  After 2 weeks, we had to do it again.  Then there was a big RV show, and the sales office was closed because all hands were at the show.  Finally, 3 weeks after "a couple of days", and after Vicki gave them the verbal abuse they deserved, it arrived.  And Vicki broke her toe.

We went to the "walkthrough", or PDI (Pre-Delivery Inspection for them, Pre-Acceptance Inspection for us), and did the closing paperwork the next day (Thursday), but put off taking delivery and swapping our trade-in, (moving day) from then to Monday.  We found a few little things that they agreed to fix.

It turns out the new one, a 2018, has some different features than the previous 2018's.  The web site was updated with new pictures, and ours has all the new stuff.  All good changes.  Even the VIN is updated, with a "J" where the "I" is for 2018!

At the closing they sold us an extended warranty which won't be needed for at least a year (Vicki insisted - the sales pitch included the lie that it would cost way more if we waited, and she gave us a "special" discount - because she liked us so much - along with using her employee discount, to cut the price in half) and a "protection" package that says you never need to wax it for 5 years.

The salesman caught us as we were pulling out of the parking lot and told us that the service dept was too busy and couldn't finish the protection package until 3PM Monday.  We were planning a full day for moving, so we put off delivery until Tuesday at 9AM sharp.

We put as much stuff as we didn't need to take with us into boxes around the picnic table, and covered it with tarps, so as to reduce the amount of stuff we would have to move from the old RV to the new.  We were late getting started on Tuesday, and called to tell them.  The service manager was "on the phone" so they took a message for him.

When we arrived at about 9:30, the service department was totally surprised.  They had not staged the new RV where they had said they were going to, and the service manager was no longer on the phone, he had not yet returned to work after the funeral on Monday.

So we told them we wanted the two RVs parked door-side-to-door-side, within reach of the electric hookup, because it was going to be 90 degrees and we would need the air conditioning for the move.  They parked them, but with the Montana face-in to the electric hookup, and its plug at the rear, 50 feet away.  The cable is 30 feet.  So we had them turn them both around, which worked because the Reflection plug is amidships and could be within 30 feet of the hookup.

We looked for the three items found during the inspection, and none of them were fixed.  One of them was some calcium stains under the water heater vent, from washing it, and apparently the "protection" package would have been applied over the stains, immortalizing them in the finish.  Except they hadn't done the protection package either.  So they fixed the three items, and we said "forget it" on the protection package.  I had asked a question in an RV forum, and the consensus was that the thing was no more than a good wax job, and with the clearcoat from the factory the RV would probably still be shiny after 5 years even if we never waxed it.

By now it was 12:00 and we were wondering if we even had time to finish the move before they closed, but we soldiered on.

About 2:00, a rookie technician opened the black tank dump valve on an RV in the shop, without a sewer hose hooked up, and flooded the parking lot with raw sewage, which flowed down the hill and under our two RVs.  Because of Vicki's toe, she was inside the new rig putting things away while I carried them from old to new, and didn't have to enter the new one, so we managed not to track the s*&^ into the new rig.

Finally, after normal quitting time, we finished the move and the acting service manager drove the fork lift to move our new home to the front parking lot where we could hitch up.  I checked the tire pressure, they were all low, so he took it back to the shop to use their compressor rather than my 20v Sears job, which can barely get up to 80 lbs and seems to take forever.  I checked them all today, and they are all still low.  My guess is that his gauge is out of calibration (I know mine is good, we've had it checked.)

Finally we took it "home", hooked up power and water, and got to the Iron Skillet diner for dinner at 9:30 PM.

Next morning we started to load the boxed stuff into the new rig, and found the leak.  There was a wet spot on the ground under the water heater, and in the storage area at the bottom of the wall.  So, we disconnected water and power, hitched up and went back to Blue Dog.  They found the problem and fixed it, a loose connection at the water pump inlet, and claimed no water damage behind the wall.  Another day lost, and our park reservation is running out again.

In the course of unpacking and putting things away, we found that a couple of the 120v outlets in the bedroom didn't work - a circuit breaker was turned off - ;  one outlet had a missing cover plate, and one of the little plastic side containers in the fridge was broken.  Parts are on order, they'll tell us when they come in, and we'll tell them where to send them.  We also have only one copy of each key, so they're getting us some more.

We just about have everything put away now, got rid of a lot of stuff we didn't need that probably wouldn't have fit anyway.  We have the whole basement storage available because Shelley's cat box is now in the shower, and the fridge is 50% bigger than the other one (we can shop at Costco now), but every nook and cranny is still filled.  We seem to have lost some other types of storage.

We read the extended service contract, and it turns out we have 60 days to cancel, so we will do that.  We had asked to read it before we signed, but were refused (shades of Nancy Pelosi!).  The manufacturer's warranties on things are good for at least a year, Grand Design has a 3 year structural warranty, and Blue Dog has a forever warranty on most of the appliances, if you do an annual $99 checkup.  The only big things not covered are the slides and leveling system, so after a year we will buy an extended plan.

Vicki has started a list of design suggestions for Grand Design.  We are very happy, and like a lot of their features, but there are still some things that could be improved.  I guess they have to leave something for us to do ourselves.

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