Still alive; just barely - Fiberglass RV


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Old 06-14-2019, 09:28 AM   #1
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Name: Mitzi
Trailer: LilSnoozy 12/01/16, Tug 2012 Dodge Citadel
Florida
Posts: 551
Still alive; just barely

Current temps in KOA Boone NC were highs in 60s last few days lows 50s but the staff were talking about it possibly getting into 40s by last night.

I had determined that this year we would drive the Blue Ridge Parkway north, entering at Cherokee NC. Air was damp, visibility poor driving thru the clouds along the mountainsides. At Travelors Rest SC and Smoky Mountains NP nights were comfortable but days getting too long. The Boone NC KOA has the highest elevation of all KOAs in the east and we were going to stay there.

I was glancing at the temp gauge now and then but we were having no problems pulling the LilSnoozy- that is, until the water pump broke. Fortunately we were at a place where a dirt track wound up the mountainside to some sort of tower (NC 450 I think) with a wide place maybe big enough for 6 cars on the uphill (southbound) part of the parkway. Northbound shoulder maybe 2 wide or so. We got off with the car nose pointing uphill. Did not disconnect the snoozy as we thought a tow truck might want us to move around to make it to hook up the van. We had no cellphone reception at all but some hikers had cellular connection and let us call USAA on their phone. Pump mishap @2:30 PM. Tow did not arrive till 7 pm.
At 7 PM tow arrived and started looking over our rig. I went into snoozy to grab dh's wallet and my purse suddenly heard sh shouting "what are you doing" a large bang Snoozy tongue went down and started rolling bassakward toward the parkway. The downhill cliffside was almost perpendicular and I'm standing on the axle area increasing inertia &velocity and the roadside shoulder is NOT guardrailed and the door is at the back. I saw myself and snoozy launching over the cliffside-would've been another Challenger on impact. Suddenly veered to the side and nose wheel and one rear tire sank into the soft mud. GFB and the tow driver had grabbed the tongue and managed to pull it almost sideways
I was shaking. Dh hurt his shoulder saving me. That tow driver never checked to see if the wheels were chocked or where all the people were before disconnecting it.
He towed us to the dealership in Ashville with our van on the flatbed and camper hitched to his towing ball. And yes, we had to move the van about 5 feet for him to be able to load it.We could have done that, THEN disconnected the trailer after chocking. After the van was fixed I routed us on developed highways to Boone and spent a few days mentally recuperating.
So I am still alive. Thank you God, Dh and even the tow driver who put me into danger initially.
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Old 06-14-2019, 12:47 PM   #2
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Name: J
Isle of Wight
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Well that does sound rather too exciting - but glad it worked out OK.

We are on the parkway now - southbound. We just entered NC. Its glorious
As was Shenandoah with all those bears.

Hope you finish you trip with a little less adventure!

Looks like we are just up the road from you - on the Parkway for $32/night full hookup. https://www.millerscamping.com
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Old 06-14-2019, 03:12 PM   #3
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Name: Dave
Trailer: 2013Escape 21
Iowa
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Glad to hear tragedy was averted. It’s a spooky world out there these days with many unqualified and uncaring people doing jobs that can have a major effect on others. Sometimes it just amounts to economic calamity but often safety and welfare are at hand. When I have a negative experience I show my displeasure and let management know my problem. Positive experiences get return business and praise.
Did you see the viral video of the idiot using a floor mop to clean tables in a Burger King? They’ve been off my list for many years. Enough said.
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Old 06-14-2019, 06:26 PM   #4
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Name: Paul
Trailer: '04 Scamp 19D, TV:Tacoma 4.0L 4door, SB
Colorado
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Wow, what an adventure. Glad all worked out well in the end.
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Old 06-15-2019, 11:47 AM   #5
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Trailer: Ď14 Casita 17 SD
Florida
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O-M-G!! I’m horrified to even think about what you both went through!

But how did you know the water pump broke? I’m in the Colorado mountains, so I’m afraid to go uphill now. I watch the engine temp like a hawk, but it never changes. Is that how you knew? The temp went to HOT? How terrifying! You have my sympathy. Thanks for any insights.

WendyW.
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Old 06-15-2019, 12:45 PM   #6
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Name: Herb-in-FL
Trailer: looking to buy
Florida
Posts: 25
I love travelling on the Blue Ridge Parkway.
If you are anywhere near Asheville, I highly recommend
the Lake Powhatan Campground, which is part of a
National Forest and is right outside of Asheville.

It does have full hookups slots in addition
to simpler sites, and it has clean and updated shower
and bathroom facilities. Call to see if they have space.
It is also adjacent to the North Carolina botanical garden.

The Blue Ridge is beautiful, indeed.
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Old 06-15-2019, 08:15 PM   #7
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Name: Jann
Trailer: Casita
Colorado
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Originally Posted by WendyW View Post
O-M-G!! Iím horrified to even think about what you both went through!

But how did you know the water pump broke? Iím in the Colorado mountains, so Iím afraid to go uphill now. I watch the engine temp like a hawk, but it never changes. Is that how you knew? The temp went to HOT? How terrifying! You have my sympathy. Thanks for any insights.

WendyW.
Water pumps just go bad. The way you know is they start making a rattling noise sometimes and sometimes they just blow a hole them. The noise is usually the bearings in it. We recently had to replace one and it never ever got hot but water started pouring out of it. Vehicle never towed a trailer since we've had it. Over heating is usually a radiator problem not a water pump problem. We've had to replace more than one and most of the time there is no warning. Sometimes just real hot weather or steep uphill will cause overheating. Just watch your temp gauge and if it gets hot pull over until it cools down. We travel the mountains in Colorado all the time since we live here. Once in a while I see the temp go up some on the mountain passes but as soon as we level out or go down hill it cools off. Just don't let the temp get up to the extremely high area. A little is normal on hot days in the mountains.
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Old 06-19-2019, 12:22 PM   #8
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Name: Mitzi
Trailer: LilSnoozy 12/01/16, Tug 2012 Dodge Citadel
Florida
Posts: 551
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Originally Posted by WendyW View Post
O-M-G!! Iím horrified to even think about what you both went through!

But how did you know the water pump broke? Iím in the Colorado mountains, so Iím afraid to go uphill now. I watch the engine temp like a hawk, but it never changes. Is that how you knew? The temp went to HOT? How terrifying! You have my sympathy. Thanks for any insights.

WendyW.
Yes it was the steam pouring out from under the hood and the rapid ascent of the temp gauge happening together. When we pulled off puddles rained down under the car hood. Apparently when the dealership replaced the engine they didnt fasten the water pump and hoses down properly. The hose fell down across the fan housing Nd eventually wore a hole in it.

I stayed off the Blue Ridge Pkway after that. I consider myself responsible for DHs safety and I feel I failed him.
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Old 06-19-2019, 01:09 PM   #9
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An engine replacement on a 2012??
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Old 06-19-2019, 03:11 PM   #10
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Name: Michael
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Oklahoma
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Thank God the tow truck driver is still alive, too. In those circumstances I am glad you were not tempted to do something to him!
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Old 06-23-2019, 07:15 AM   #11
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Name: Mitzi
Trailer: LilSnoozy 12/01/16, Tug 2012 Dodge Citadel
Florida
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Originally Posted by Jon in AZ View Post
An engine replacement on a 2012??
Took in toChevy dealership with several issues- Check Engine light kept comin on and regular garage couldn't find any issues and recommended checking it out at the Chevy dealership. We dropped it off for work and before we had reached home the dealership was on the phone wanting to buy it from us. We declined. Took us over a week to get the word on the suggested repairs-while keeping turning down their attempts to buy it from us. Their final word on the estimate was that there were so many "little" things going on amd the van was being driven so far and hard that they anticipated engine failure at any time and we needed to install a new or rebuilt engine. When we told them we would take it if they could just reset the Check engine light they told us that in order to comprehensively test and examine our van they had to remove the engine so we needed to replace it. We asked them to please restore the
old engine they refused as "things would keep failing and it would be unsafe for us to drive and leave them with liability issues".

DEar Husband is a lawyer and felt there was no legal recourse open to us as he has seen plenty of deep pocketed corporate lawyers run up huge bills and cause huge delays in the course of a lawsuit, sometimes leading to affected complainaints dying before ever getting their day in court. We finally just to get it back agreed to have a rebuilt engine installed. This was ON TOP OF 8 cardiac related hospitalization I endured and 2 he endured. All our spare funds were being sucked up by health care debts. finally both of us had to take some money from our retirement accounts to pay the $8 thousand dollars for parts and labor. It went into the shop in September and we didn't get back till right before Christmas.

And we will NEVER EVER use that dealership again.
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Old 06-23-2019, 09:14 AM   #12
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What a horrible experience!! So sorry. Chevy? But I thought you had a Dodge Durango...
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Old 06-24-2019, 08:56 AM   #13
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Name: Ray
Trailer: scamp
Indiana
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One comment, and I hope this doesn't sound like I am in anyway attacking you. But you kind of were to blame here. But in the same way about everyone would be. I have worked a lot of jobs where situational awareness saves lives. And that has fit into a lot of the rest of my life.

The point is that as soon as I talk to the driver of the tow truck I say "lets do a walk around and I will show you what I think is going on. I also tell him what other safety stuff I had with me like an extra jack or wheel blocks. I carry two sets just in case. But I have had some cases where the tow driver or other service person was not on the same page with me and that saved the day.

Of course I also stopped for a broke down other camper. I parked more safely. Hey I was still running so I could pick the place 150 foot up the road and well off the road right ;-) I had flares out for him even though he was off the road, barely. We were waiting by the disabled vehicle. The only thing they both had in common was that we were towing campers. ;-) Still the idiot was hooking onto my jeep and was about to tow it with the rear wheels down and the camper still attached before we could run up and stop him. :-(
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Old 06-24-2019, 10:59 AM   #14
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Name: Jann
Trailer: Casita
Colorado
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Originally Posted by Mitzi Agnew-Giles View Post
Took in toChevy dealership with several issues- Check Engine light kept comin on and regular garage couldn't find any issues and recommended checking it out at the Chevy dealership. We dropped it off for work and before we had reached home the dealership was on the phone wanting to buy it from us. We declined. Took us over a week to get the word on the suggested repairs-while keeping turning down their attempts to buy it from us. Their final word on the estimate was that there were so many "little" things going on amd the van was being driven so far and hard that they anticipated engine failure at any time and we needed to install a new or rebuilt engine. When we told them we would take it if they could just reset the Check engine light they told us that in order to comprehensively test and examine our van they had to remove the engine so we needed to replace it. We asked them to please restore the
old engine they refused as "things would keep failing and it would be unsafe for us to drive and leave them with liability issues".

DEar Husband is a lawyer and felt there was no legal recourse open to us as he has seen plenty of deep pocketed corporate lawyers run up huge bills and cause huge delays in the course of a lawsuit, sometimes leading to affected complainaints dying before ever getting their day in court. We finally just to get it back agreed to have a rebuilt engine installed. This was ON TOP OF 8 cardiac related hospitalization I endured and 2 he endured. All our spare funds were being sucked up by health care debts. finally both of us had to take some money from our retirement accounts to pay the $8 thousand dollars for parts and labor. It went into the shop in September and we didn't get back till right before Christmas.

And we will NEVER EVER use that dealership again.
I would turn that dealer into GM and to the state for robbery from you. They can't take a vehicle and not let you have it even if you wanted to tow it from them. Getting a new engine after that wanted to buy it shows they were lying and crooked about the engine. If it was that bad of a vehicle they wouldn't want it. I'd never let a shop put in an engine under those conditions. I've taken my vehicle from shops and put it in another one when I felt things weren't right.
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Old 06-24-2019, 07:57 PM   #15
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Trailer: '04 Scamp 19D, TV:Tacoma 4.0L 4door, SB
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I would turn that dealer into GM and to the state for robbery from you. They can't take a vehicle and not let you have it even if you wanted to tow it from them. Getting a new engine after that wanted to buy it shows they were lying and crooked about the engine. If it was that bad of a vehicle they wouldn't want it. I'd never let a shop put in an engine under those conditions. I've taken my vehicle from shops and put it in another one when I felt things weren't right.
You are right on, Jann. It sure sounds like the dealer was a crooked one and his behavior predatory, and even with much time elapsed, Mitzi might consider it to be worth doing what you suggest.
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Old 06-24-2019, 08:42 PM   #16
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Name: Ray
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I would turn that dealer into GM and to the state for robbery from you. They can't take a vehicle and not let you have it even if you wanted to tow it from them. Getting a new engine after that wanted to buy it shows they were lying and crooked about the engine. If it was that bad of a vehicle they wouldn't want it. I'd never let a shop put in an engine under those conditions. I've taken my vehicle from shops and put it in another one when I felt things weren't right.

I would find a good mechanic to look at it. I would show up at the dealer with a tow truck and the cops. Point out it is your car. But what is done is done. I certainly would hope you documented all of this. Then total up the bills and add a bunch of pain and suffering and send them a demand letter.



And turn them over the GM.
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Old 06-24-2019, 09:32 PM   #17
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Name: Jann
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An engine replacement on a 2012??
I would almost put money on it that they didn't put a new engine in it. They probably cleaned up the old one and left it in or took it out and put their good one into another vehicle that the mechanic owned. That dealer needs put out of business no matter what.
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Old 06-24-2019, 10:15 PM   #18
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Name: Mac
Trailer: 2013 Casita 17' LD
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I'd be all over that dealer, complaining to the appropriate state agencies, and preparing a small-claims case. No lawyers are allowed in small claims court, and often a formal demand letter (required prior to filing) will demonstrate your seriousness and force a resolution. If you've never been through the process, it's not difficult, and costs little to try. Nolo Press is a good source of material on this subject.
Good luck!
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Old 06-24-2019, 10:31 PM   #19
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I'd be all over that dealer, complaining to the appropriate state agencies, and preparing a small-claims case. No lawyers are allowed in small claims court, and often a formal demand letter (required prior to filing) will demonstrate your seriousness and force a resolution. If you've never been through the process, it's not difficult, and costs little to try. Nolo Press is a good source of material on this subject.
Good luck!

Exactly
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Old 06-25-2019, 05:32 AM   #20
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Name: Mitzi
Trailer: LilSnoozy 12/01/16, Tug 2012 Dodge Citadel
Florida
Posts: 551
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Originally Posted by computerspook View Post
One comment, and I hope this doesn't sound like I am in anyway attacking you. But you kind of were to blame here. But in the same way about everyone would be. I have worked a lot of jobs where situational awareness saves lives. And that has fit into a lot of the rest of my life.

The point is that as soon as I talk to the driver of the tow truck I say "lets do a walk around and I will show you what I think is going on. I also tell him what other safety stuff I had with me like an extra jack or wheel blocks. I carry two sets just in case. But I have had some cases where the tow driver or other service person was not on the same page with me and that saved the day.

Of course I also stopped for a broke down other camper. I parked more safely. Hey I was still running so I could pick the place 150 foot up the road and well off the road right ;-) I had flares out for him even though he was off the road, barely. We were waiting by the disabled vehicle. The only thing they both had in common was that we were towing campers. ;-) Still the idiot was hooking onto my jeep and was about to tow it with the rear wheels down and the camper still attached before we could run up and stop him. :-(
That is what we have done in the past- usually the tow people greet us and ask what has happened. Usually we are two together when the tow truck arrives. I just didn't see the need for us to stand around in thesprinkling rain/ mud with my heavy purse and Dh's overstuffed wallet. My brother, whom we met up with later, said it was my own fault for not chocking the wheels immediately upon stopping. That's my latest vow to follow in the future
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