Sunday, May 07, 2006

11:32 AM Sunday May 7, 2006

Joy and Phil’s SAGA continues …

A few of the parts needed to repair the Lone Ranger had arrived when we checked in this past Friday with the remainder expected on Monday or Tuesday. Keep your fingers crossed! Once all the members of the cast are assembled … the show will begin (or so it says here in fine print). Then the customary estimate is from one to two weeks before we get our truck back—could take longer but couldn’t possibly be sooner we’re told.

Then, there is the cab air repair of our Penny the Pace. We have had such good luck in finding excellent repair facilities I guess we were due. I found the repair shop in the yellow pages of the Yuma telephone directory … a AAA rated repair facility named Accurate Automotive Attention, “ Same location & ownership since 1969”. Okay … sounds pretty good so far, right?

RV air conditioning was listed as one of their specialties and we wanted a service facility that knew what they were doing so I called and made an appointment to deliver Penny at 8 AM on May 4th and we were there right on time.

Planning to spend the day “winter home window shopping” we had breakfast at McDonalds (a yummy treat once or twice a year) and started exploring all the “for sale” signs in RV parks and middle-income neighborhoods. The first call came at 9:25 AM—estimate was $515. Well, that was certainly more than we expected but our home on wheels was in the operating room, draped for surgery and the doctor was on the job so Phil gave the go-ahead. “Should be finished by 2:30 PM.”

At 1:03 PM the phone rang again … new estimate: $747. Hmmmm? What were we supposed to say? Close her up Doc and forget the whole thing … not gonna happen and they knew it! So once again, Phil gave the go-ahead. Problem was, the job wouldn’t be finished until Friday (had to order parts). Well, that presented a new problem. We didn’t want to make them move Penny and we couldn’t stay with her inside the garage so we went looking for a motel. After several stops with assorted prices we settled on the bare bones offering of Motel 6 at $39.95. Now this is really no-frills sleeping but the bed was comfortable and we both enjoyed our long-hot showers as compared to our usual “Navy showers”. Had dinner at one of our favorite restaurants, The Golden Corral and turned in early.

Remembering a wonderful breakfast I found on the “Just for Me” menu, we left the motel early and had our first experience at Yuma’s I-Hop restaurant. It did not disappoint and we both ate every bite … delicious! Phil had an International Burrito with chorizo sausage from the regular menu and I ordered the Garden Scramble made from egg substitute full of fresh veggies and served with pancakes and sugar free syrup. I added sour cream and salsa … delicious!

The phone rang again at 11:30 AM. You guessed it, another estimate revision! $900 this time. Well, needless to say, Phil was losing his sense of humor and asked George, one of the service managers if he was going to get a “Kiss” with the bill … George laughed, but he got the message and told Phil he’d see what he could do to shave off some of the cost.

After a trip to the bank (no we didn’t rob it … but we did make a large withdrawal) we picked up our lonely lady at 2:30 PM. Her cab-air worked flawlessly all the way back to the park and hopefully will continue to do so from now on. We were all relieved to have her put back together and parked back in her slot here at Desert Holiday RV Park. Total bill was $824.70 with a 12-month or 12,000 miles warrantee on parts and labor (nation wide) a VERY GOOD warrantee for a full time RVer.

Final report: We really believe this shop did high-quality work but we also suspect that some things that really didn’t need to be done were added to the job. However, since we’re not mechanics or “air conditioning specialists” we can’t provide evidence for our suspicions. I think the actual problem was that we never dreamed the repair would be that expensive and I guess that likens to Phil and I living in the past. Realistically, we understand everything on the planet costs more every year and in some cases the price increases (like gasoline), every day/week/month but always, ALWAYS the increases come as a shock to us!

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