Having twice been stranded on the side of the highway, we were very pleased when we called 1-800-CUMMINS for assistance and they referred us to a Coach Care facility just an hour away in Concord. Steven called and spoke with a guy who said they do everything Coach Care does. They weren't officially CC, but were only a couple of months away from that designation. They even offer the ten percent discount for Coach Care Power Club, of which we are members.
For those who aren't familiar, Cummins is the make of our engine and throughout the country they have facilities that are certified not only in Cummins engines but are also, in theory, completely versed in the care and keeping of all aspects of a motorcoach. For instance, they also do chassis work, check for roof issues, service generators, and so on. Our actual experience has been stellar although for annual maintenance we've only been to one, Cummins Northwest in Coburg, OR. These guys are the Gold Standard when it comes to Cummins Coach Care and they have been taking care of Scoopy even before we adopted her. They have an awesome "Annual Care" checklist that covers Scoopy from nose-to-tail. What we have learned on our trip east is that not all "Coach Care" facilities are created equal.
In Michigan we contacted the Coach Care facility in Clinton but the guy we spoke with had never heard of it. When we asked about annual services, he said, "Like what?" Hmmm, okay. He said he'd talk to his boss and call us back and of course we're still waiting for his call. Next, we called the Coach Care in Buffalo, NY and again, not a warm and fuzzy vibe that made us feel like they had a clue about Coach Care. At that point we decided to defer our annual service until we returned to Texas in the winter and have it done there. That was a great plan until we ended up on the side of the road, which brings us full circle to the "Coach Care" in Concord.
Imagine our surprise when we arrived for our appointment and were told in no uncertain terms that they only worked on engines and nothing else. (He later pointed out that most of those engines were in the front of the truck, not the rear. Coach Care my butt.) Oh, but apparently they do service generators. The guy’s whole demeanor when we met him made us feel like we were idiots, quite frankly. His energy level was through the roof. At this point, Steven said to him was there anything wrong because he appeared to be really stressed (his customer service skills, so apparent over the phone, were now nowhere to be found). He made some lame excuses about problems they were having in the shop in general which had nothing to do with us, so we just carried on. Since Scoopy's engine was our priority, we asked that they investigate the alarms we experienced, do an oil change and service the generator. We would just have the chassis work done elsewhere.
The worst part of fulltime RVing is when Scoopy is in the shop and we have to find somewhere to go. Usually we'll go sightseeing, shopping or hang out at a restaurant or Starbucks. The latter is our go-to place because of the Wifi but we obviously can't sit there all day. It's definitely easier to keep ourselves entertained when Scoopy is just in for maintenance but when there are "diagnostics" going on, we find it difficult to focus on anything else. Add to that a shop that instilled little confidence and we were both on edge.
The long story short is they called to tell us they didn't find anything wrong with Scoopy's engine and apparently she did not generate a code when the engine warning light came on - twice. They put some dye in the oil to see if the engine was creating its own oil (causing all the blow back we were experiencing) and told us to drive it around for a few hundred miles and then come back to them or have someone else check it out if we were not in the area. We also found out that, despite us asking that morning, they had failed to service the generator. They apologized and offered to hop right on it but we declined, we had enough for one day. Further, they closed out our invoice without giving us the Power Club discount and were too lazy to fix it. At that point we were done. Except to say it was too late to drive anywhere so we spent the night in their parking lot.
I could go into a lot more detail about all that just didn't go right with this shop, but what's the point, right?
Okay, just one more story about these guys and then I'm going to quit griping about them. First off, anytime we are allowed to stay overnight at a place where Scoopy is being serviced, we are grateful. Hook-ups for us are optional, because we are self-sustained but, if they are available we certainly appreciate having them. So, we were told that a 50 amp hookup would be no problem, after all, he said, "We kept Dale Earnhardt, Jr's rig powered for two days, I think we can power yours." We parked and out the guy comes with an itty bitty household plug. LOL. Honestly, I'm still laughing about that one. Aaaaanyway . . . .
We awoke very early to a low battery light on our inverter and when we turned on our generator, there was no power to the rig. We were both half asleep as we tried to figure it out, but ultimately we had to admit we couldn’t wait any longer to get the inverter fixed. We can't function without a genny and an inverter but we sure weren't going to have the genny looked at by the boys in Concord! Time to move on and enact Plan B.
Originally, we had hoped to wait a week to meet up with the Magnum guy but, given our current circumstances, we decided the more prudent thing would be re-route and meet up with him immediately. We called and he agreed to meet us at the Elks Lodge in Littleton, NH. We figured we'd spend one night there and then move on to Burlington, Vermont, the place that just keeps getting pushed off our route.
We did not just spend one night in Littleton.