After leaving our friends Paul & Char in Buffalo, New York, our next stop before heading across the northern tier of the USA to the Pacific coast, is White Pigeon, Michigan. We were scheduled for some preventative maintenance at Quadra Manufacturing for our RV leveling system(Big Foot). White Pigeon is located approximately 14 miles north of Elkhart, Indiana, the RV Capital of the world.
We did get to our destination safely. But how? We aren’t sure. I’d like to believe and do believe it was our Guardian Angels.
As you can see the tire/wheel/disk brakes, everything is gone, including the fender flair, torn right off! How the rotor stayed on the spindle like that amazed us! And we don’t have a clue as to where or when this happened or how long we were driving like this. Kevin suspected something was wrong when we stopped at the toll booth leaving the interstate. He said the brakes felt a little “mushy”. So somewhere on I-90 there is a $700 tire/wheel!
I would’ve loved to have pictures of our faces when we first saw this mess. Well, I have a picture in my head of what Kevin’s face looked like. It was total shock and disbelief! So after having our leveling system go through some preventative maintenance, and after Kevin talked with Ken, at New Horizons regarding driving the rig safely, we “limp” slowly 14 miles to MORryde, Inc. MORryde is a company in Elkhart that installs and maintains the suspension system that we have in our RV.
We were able to come up with a plan to have us scheduled for a full repair. It turns out that our problem was one of the “NeverLube” sealed bearings seized and basically exploded. According to MORryde, they are “ok” bearings, but because they are sealed you have no warning if they are about to fail. So after a few conversations with other knowledgable New Horizon owners (thanks Bill Napier and Jim Fiste), we decide to not replace the failed NeverLube bearing, but replace all 6 Neverlubes for American made greasable Timken bearings. So yes, we will need to have them lubed every year, but they can be inspected, and by doing that you can get a warning when they are starting to go bad. MORryde could only give us an appointment 2 weeks out to have this modification done. However they were able to “fix us up” temporarily so we could take the RV to a nearby park to wait out the 2 weeks.
To make matters much worse, it was during this 2 week wait that we lost our girl Stella. Stella had taken a turn for the worse during the last few weeks of our travels. For those of you who have ever owned a pet, you know the pain and sorrow of having to lose them. We spent the first week with our girl to say our goodbyes as we kept her as comfortable as possible until it was time. Traveling on the road, our Stella was with us hook, line and sinker. It was the three of us for 11 years, and the last three years in the RV she loved the life! We’ll never forget her and will miss her everyday!
So after 2 very difficult weeks it was the day for our appointment. We show up the night before and camped in MORryde’s parking lot. They start to make the repairs and changes the next day. It continued into a second day and the RV is now in the garage with no wheels or tires! Because we can’t move we can’t camp in the parking lot. So yes, we sleep inside the RV in the garage.
What a night! This company works all 3 shifts and let me just say, I know every break time and lunch for the night shift. That was quite a loud bell/buzzer, announcing each break!
We were officially done and ready to leave Elkhart, Indiana by noon on a Friday. We were almost 3 weeks behind in schedule. Some cancellations and rearrangements had to be made, but not a problem. In RV living you have to be flexible. If not you’re gonna break and we aren’t letting that happen to us!
Our destination that day was Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin. Approximately 300 miles away (oh and through Chicago).
At any rate, after 300 hundred miles, over $80 in tolls and driving washboard roads on I-90 (that we paid to drive) and a 1 1/2 hour delay around Chicago, we FINALLY made our destination.
What a lovely area! The owners of Country Roads RV Park-Terry and his wife Terry(LOL), are awesome people. We were spending only one night here and leaving first thing in the morning to continue to our destination, the Pacific Coast. So Saturday morning it’s business as usual. Prepare the inside of the RV, the outside of the RV and hook up to pull out. The VERY LAST thing to do before pulling away is to do a “walk around”. We both do it. Kevin goes one way, and I go the other way.
And away we go! Or so we think……
All was well until I got to the passenger side wheels/tires. We have 3 axles on each side of the RV and out of the 3, something is amiss with one of them. Kevin takes a look and says we have to take the wheel off!
Turns out the work MORryde did was less than stellar. And with further examination, there was an issue with another axle.
We were lucky we spotted the issue before taking off, otherwise it would’ve been a complete disaster traveling on the interstate in more ways than one.
So to make a long story short, we spent another week sitting waiting for parts and an area technician to repair the problem. Turns out not many, if any, RV technicians know how to work on this particular suspension. Finally after a week of waiting Kevin was able to convince MORryde to send a tech to fix the issue at our location 300 miles from where MORryde is located.
They sent not only 1 tech, but 2! To MoRryde’s credit they replaced all the bad parts and made good on a situation that should never had happened in the first place.
Looking over our shoulders and stopping often to make sure all is well, we finally did make it to Washington State to start our Pacific Coast trip 3 weeks later than planned.
And we made it safely, but not without much anxiety, frustration and a number of other emotions. We have been challenged. And yes, we have talked about, do we really want to keep doing this?
For now, yes, we will keep doing this. We have seen so much and have learned so much about this beautiful nation, our own backyard.
RVing is a very challenging yet rewarding adventure. Which outweighs the other? That’s up for debate at this time. But we will continue to motor on and deal with whatever, whenever. It is a lifestyle we chose to live. It is NOT a vacation as most think! We are flexible!
We will prevail! On to the west coast!