About Us

Southeast (Gulf Coast), Texas, United States

Monday, October 14, 2013

Sunday–End of Rally & Start of a Bad Day!!

DisclaimerThis may be a boring post to all except RV owners who know the kind of problems that you can encounter with one, and to my close friends who will get laugh out of this!!


The rally ended on Sunday, and all RV’s had to be off of the York Expo Center grounds by 3:00PM.  Since our new site at Flory’s Campground would not be vacated until 2:00PM, we did not plan on getting an early start…….. in fact, since I don’t particularly like mornings, we seldom get an early start!!

Since the parking lot was emptying, I decided to begin our departure at about 11:00AM.  That is when the “BAD” part of the day began. 

To state a little background, when we arrived at the fairgrounds on last Tuesday morning, the guy who was parking RV’s stopped me and asked if I knew that my leveler jack was not fully retracted………. I didn’t, but checked it out when I got parked.  It was the driver’s side front jack, and it was only about 3—4 inches off the ground.  I felt lucky, it did not look like it had hit the ground or road as we were driving!

I thought that maybe it was just a ‘positioning’ issue with the jack, so I went ahead and leveled the Bus with the system.  It leveled fine, including lifting the front tires about 1/2” off the ground since the parking lot was so out of level!!

Now…….. when we got ready to leave, I sat in the driver’s seat and carefully set the Bus to retract the leveler jacks.  As the Bus began to lower, the DS front did not come down!  I shut down the raising of the rest of the jacks, and went outside to check on it.  The DS front jack was still fully extended. 

The leveler brand is Attwood, so I checked, and they had a 24/7 assistance number.  I called the number and the Tech tried to help me, but he was not much help.  Everything that he wanted to try, did not result in anything good happening. 

He finally told me that I would have to manually retract the jack by turning a nut on the end of the motor….. 500 turns to lower it 1” !!!!!!  After manually raising the jack, and completing the retraction of the other jack positions, the best I could get was to raise the DS front jack to the same 3—4 inches off the ground.  It should have gone up at least another 6 inches.

To state another bit of background, the Bus came from the factory with a Generation I version of Attwood levelers.  After a lot of problems with the levelers, the company upgraded the Bus with a Generation II version of the leveler system.  The upgrade was completed in March of 2012, and since then, I have not had any problems.

After arriving at the campground where we will be staying until Thursday morning, I got parked and set up the Bus. 


After getting setup, I called the Attwood Tech back, and told him about some of my observations of the system……. hoping to get some help to solve the problem so we would be able to complete the next 3—4 weeks of travel with a leveling system.  He was no help, but I did get names and phone numbers for two area RV service companies that were authorized Attwood repair centers.  To do what I could to move this issue along on a Sunday afternoon when almost everybody was closed, I made phone calls and left messages, and sent emails.  I did the following:

1.  Went on line with Authorized dealer #1 web site, and left a message on a chat

2.  Called Authorized dealer #2, & got a busy signal on Sunday & Monday

3.  Wrote an email to Tiffin (Don Boyd) & Attwood (Sue Noyes) seeking help

4.  Sent email to friend in Pittsburgh to seek an address to ship new jack

5.  Removed the bad jack from Bus so I could carry it in car to repair location, since it is known that RV dealers seldom can work a new job in the queue in less than a couple of weeks

About the time that I got finished with this, our friends Chuck and Loraine came by from their RV park in Lebanon, PA, and we watched some football.  In fact, Chuck helped me removed the Jack.  After we removed the jack, I found that it was bent……… apparently it had hit the ground at some point in time, but that did not explain why it did not fully retract the very first time.  The subsequent ‘failures to retract’ could be explained by the bent section!!!

We visited a while with Chuck and Loraine, and then went to a local Cracker Barrel restaurant, and had dinner.  The food was good, but the service was real bad…….. who would have guessed that with the way that this day started out!!

Chuck and I asked to talk with the manager before we checked out, and while the cashier did call for him, after 15 minutes, he still had not shown up!  We went back to the cashier and told her that we just wanted to pay and leave.  We told her that since the manager had not shown up, we figured that we now knew that he was a big part of the problem, and we just wanted to pay and leave!  She comp'd of each of us for one meal.  We accepted, but told her that did not make us feel better!!

Chuck and Lorraine dropped Patsy and I off at the Bus, and we called it a day.  Afterwards, I watched the Cowboy/Redskins game, and we had a nice relaxing evening.

Monday morning, we were up early….. not a good thing!  I checked my email for any responses, and there were none yet.  Shortly after, I got a call from Authorized dealer #1, and he said that they did not have a new jack in stock, but may be able to rebuild what I had, and when he saw the model number, he could tell me how long it would take to get a new jack!  We got dressed and left to drive the 45 miles to the dealer.

Shortly after we left, I got an email (via iPhone) from my friend in Pittsburgh that I could use his shop address, and he spelled out what it was.  

About half way to the dealer, I got a call from an Attwood Engineer that I had worked with with my Generation I jacks.  He said that Sue Noyes had sent him my email from Sunday night. After listening to my story, he said that Attwood would send me a new jack.  He asked me to send the model number off the jack, and the shipping address to Sue Noyes at Attwood, because he was traveling and about the board a plane.

As we turned into the parking lot of Authorized dealer #1, Sue Noyes called me and said that the Engineer had called her back and informed her of our conversation and the agreement.  I gave her the model number, and agreed to forward her the shipping address as soon as I fired up my computer.  I told her that I needed it in Pittsburgh by Friday, and she agreed that she could do that……even if they had to manufacture a new jack!!

I sent the email, and then called my Pittsburgh friend and let him know what had happened.  He said all was good with him, and then called me back a few minutes later telling us that we could overnight at this shop, and he would help me install the new jack.  This is the guy that helped me rebuild one of my old jacks in the desert at Quartzsite, AZ in January of 2012.  His name is Dan Frohlich…………. and he is turning out to be a real help!!


It was only about 10:00AM when all of this came together, so that gave us the major part of the day to continue with our touring of the PA Amish area.  This “Plan” is really came together!!

More on the second half of Monday in the next post!!


Mike Mills said...

Good grief! I have the generation I levelers and I hold my breath every time I extend them. In fact, I'm so gun-shy about it, I often leave them retracted when I'm fairly level. I'm sure my time is coming. Best wishes for a quick fix!


Richard and Patsy King said...

This is the first problem since I upgrade over 18 months ago. I am very pleased with the response from Attwood.

Like you, the Attwood's have almost traumatized me...... I only consider them to be stabilizers, not levelers!! I always find an almost level spot, and the drop the levelers to stabilize my rig!

I feel confident that the new jack will be in Pittsburgh when I arrive on Friday...... hope my bubble doesn't get popped!

See ya'

dennis said...

We are stuck in Traverse City Mi waiting for a new generation 2 control panel. Have not had a problem since replacing everything in may 2012.