Now in Crawfordsville, Indiana

Now in Crawfordsville, Indiana

We are now in Del Rio Texas

We are now in Del Rio Texas

Leaving Indiana, arriving Ohio. Annoying RV Manufacturers and repair people

June 26 - 27, 2014 

Thursday the 26th we slept in at the hotel that the RV manufacturer was paying for and then had a just OK hotel free breakfast.  The only good part about the breakfast was that it was free.  It was the standard carbohydrate type loaded in fat, sugar and flour.  Of course I had to have biscuits and gravy; I had not had any since being in Indiana.
It’s very hard to get going any farther east and this far north.

After breakfast, we arrived at Recreational Specialists around 11:30 am and picked up the RV to head east.  The RV had been moved about 50 feet further from the shop since we left it the day before.  We also had an RV on each side of us now. Ron, the owner, was not there so we couldn’t discuss a new time for the repair to the frame.  We hitched up and were out of there heading to Gibsonburg OH for our first stop on our way to visit friends Pete and Beckey who we met during the winter in Natures Resort in Texas.

We decided to take Route 20 to travel the180 miles to Gibsonville OH.  We could have taken the interstate toll road 80/90 but that is so boring.  We, like a lot of others, have found that taking the smaller roads is so much more relaxing and fun. The time goes so much faster when there is something to look at.
Amish horse and buggy as we are leaving north Indiana on rout 20.

Entering Ohio on Route 20.

There was a little surprise in Gibsonburg as the RV park we were going to was closed to transients like us.  They are now just for seasonal rentals.  We pulled into the campground and needed to turn around to get out and were met by a very nice lady from the office.  We asked about somewhere close to stay and she gave us the information about the County park not more than 2 miles away.  So we headed to White Star Quarry Park just on the edge of Gibsonburg.

White Star was a much better fit for us than the other place.  A little pricey for a county park at $25 a night without a sewer hook-up.  They have an easy dump station on the way out so it is fine and works for us.  The sites are big just as you would think a county park to be.  The water was a shared station so I just parked and then ran my hose to it and filled our fresh water tank for the 2 nights we would be there. 

Our site at White Star Park.

Another view before dark. Restrooms are the building on the left.

Before I could fill the fresh water tank I needed to get the hose from the under floor compartment on the driver’s side of the RV.  Wow, the compartment is locked!  We never lock any of the compartments as it would cost much more to fix a broken door/lock than what someone could steel from us. 

Anyway, none of the other compartments were locked including the one for the outside TV.  This was strange as we would have thought that if Recreational Specialists wanted to lock up the RV as it was sitting outside they would have locked all of the compartments.  Also, Recreational Specialists didn’t have a key for these compartments so how did it get locked?  Is there a special universal key for these doors? 

Now we need to find the key to get the compartment unlocked.  Since we don’t lock these we weren’t sure which key fit these and just where it was.  We keep all of our keys in the RV in a sort of hidden place but easy to get to.  

Patty found the key and as I opened the door it didn’t feel right.  This compartment door has 2 air pistons to help open it and to keep it open.  The right side piston fell off as the door opened and the other one was very loose.  It looks like someone opened the door not knowing it had these pistons and tried to force the door all of the way open.  After they found out they made a mistake, they slammed the door closed pushing the piston supports into the door, denting it on both side as well as dislocating the right side piston.

We were both just a little pissed off, maybe more than pissed off!  I sent Ron at Recreational Specialists an e-mail with pictures explaining the situation and especially about the compartment being locked.  We believe that whoever opened the compartment and damaged it, locked it for some reason.  Anyway, since we don’t lock our compartments and didn’t give them a key to do so or tell them where the keys were, we think there must be a universal key that they have. A random thief in the area wouldn’t open a compartment, not take anything and then lock it.  It had to be someone at Recreational Specialists.

Ron got back to me the next morning and basically said no one was responsible for this at his place.  He can’t explain why the door was locked after being damaged but his people had nothing to do with it.  Someone at his place is not telling him the truth.  Not much I can do about it now.  I did do a walk around the RV before we left to make sure there wasn’t any damage to the outside and to make sure everything was where it was supposed to be as a precaution. I don’t want to, but I guess next time I will check the compartment doors and make sure nothing is broken or missing.

The bigger picture with the door is that the damage is not that big of a deal.  On Friday the 27th I fixed the door myself with some left over Bondo body epoxy I had.  I removed all of the piston hardware and propped the door open so I could work on it.  I filled in the dents in the inside of the door with some rubber and epoxy I had and also filled in the mounting screw holes with more epoxy.  After the epoxy dried, I refitted the door hardware and the one piston that fell off.  The door was as good as new, maybe better, within a couple of hours of easy work.  All's well that ends well!

My fixes with epoxy and rubber sheet.

We also found out from Prime Time Manufacturing that we have tentative date of September 22nd to have our frame repaired.  I am more than pissed about the word tentative. We are changing our travel schedule to return to Elkhart IN in September and all Prime Time can do is give us a tentative date.  The date really depends on the frame manufacturer Lippert.  One would think that Prime Time could use a little leverage and force Lippert to act more professional in fixing their frame issue.  It seems they don't have enough traveling welders to handle the emergency road repairs and the people like us who are trying to not become an emergency!

The rest of the day on Friday we did our own things.  Patty made some more cut shirts and I went for a trail walk in the park.  I got some new sneakers that I wanted to try out and the park has some nice wide trails around an old quarry.  I managed to get in a 5 mile walk/jog with only one blister on my right heel.  Now my feet and new shoes are matched and broken in!
The quarry in the county park.  This is a swimming area.

Picture of the swimming area from the other side of the quarry lake.

Tomorrow we head further east to near Fredonia PA about 200 miles from here.  The weather right now is perfect and normal for northeast summer.  It’s clear, hot, in the upper 80s, and very humid.  We are planning to be at the RV Village Campground around 3 pm tomorrow afternoon and stay for a couple of nights before moving on to the east side of PA.

Stay tuned!


Gregory Mercado said...

I too have upper frame flex problems with my 2013 Sanibel 3500. My unit is on its way to Prime Time for the repair. Left today. I see you have a scheduled repair date of 9/22. I guess I will be without mine for some time, for I do not have a repair date. I also developed a leak in the rear that damaged the MDF crown molding. They are to fix that too. Good luck with your repair and great blog. :)

Mark and Patty said...


We, thankfully have not had a leak. We have heard good things about the fix for the frame. So, we sort of look at this as an improvement to the original Sanibel. It's just a pain in the butt to get it done. We are sort of going back that direction anyway so it works for us. We weren't going there this early though, but oh well!

Good luck with your repair. Maybe we will see yours there when we get there.


Gregory Mercado said...

Brought the Sanibel to the dealer yesterday and handed it off to the transporter. The transporter told me he would have it in Indiana that evening (565 miles). I requested he send me an email when he dropped it off. I received an email 10:30 pm informing me that he had a blowout on the way there and sent me some photos of the blown out tire and minor damage (mainly rubber marks on the wheel well. I am hoping that Prime Time will replace the tire and cleanup the area that got damaged from the tire rubber. Rough start, but I feel confident all will turn out great.

Mark and Patty said...

We changed the wheels and tires on our Sanibel last September. We had 3 tires go on us in 30 days with the last one being a blowout. The blow out took out the entire fender skirt and severed a hydraulic line to a leveler. This is a link to the blog about it.

Gregory Mercado said...

Wow, I read the writeup at the link and definitely do not want to go that route. The tire that blew out (1st) has a approx 7000 miles on it. I checked out the source where you bought your replacement wheels and tires. What wheel and tire did you go with? I know your upgraded to 17.5 and I am wanting to explore doing the same. Thanks in advance for any assistance you may provide. You definitely have the experience that I am lacking with the Sanibel.

Gregory Mercado said...

Looking over your blog concerning the blowout you experience, you specified that the tires you had on your Sanibel were Goodyear Marathon 215/80/R16 Load Range E tires. Is that a typo?, for the tires on mine are Goodyear Marathon ST 235/80/R16 Load E 3420@ 80psi. 8 lug.

Mark and Patty said...

Yea your right, it is a typeo. However, the new tires are 215/75r17.5 Goodyear G114 Load Range H with psi of 125. The original tire was the 235/80/r16 Load range E.

There is a lot written about how bad the ST tires are in either E or G range. It seems that these tires have a problem where the sidewall fails. The ST tires are made to flex from side to side as you "jack" the trailer. However, this action seems to weaken the tire after a while. The worst problem with these tires is that they have these catastrophic tread separation problems. The G114 tire doesn't flex as you "jack the trailer, it actually slides across the pavement. It also has about 4 times the tread depth as well as more material under that as well. Many people have changed from ST tires to the G114 on trailers over the 14k range. I just didn't want to live all of the time worrying that a tire may blow at any minute.

The guys at trailer tire and wheel are great people too.


Gregory Mercado said...

Mark, Good morning! One more question- did you do anything different for the spare or did you replace that one too with an alum wheel?

Mark and Patty said...

We kept the original steel wheel and ST tire for the spare. Their is not much dia difference to worrry about for short time as a spare.