So… Living in lovely New York State we have to have an annual inspection done on all our vehicles. It was time for the coach to go in and we had a small repair that needed to be done too. Our air ride height adjustment valve was leaking. Not catastrophic where we couldn’t drive it, but it had to get replaced or it would continue to leak and get worse. Then it may become catastrophic. Not to mention, we wouldn’t pass inspection with this leak.
So we called our local Big Rig Freightliner repair shop, Tracey’s Truck Repair, and told them what was happening and what parts were needed. Being in upstate NY we don’t have a large selection of where we can go for repairs. We’ve been to Tracey’s before and they are good people. So that’s where we went back to.
They told us they had the parts and to come in the following Monday. Great! So that’s what David did.
Well…David waited for an hour because Tracey’s opens at 7:30 in the morning but their techs don’t get in and start working until 8:30 and he was told to bring it in first thing in the morning.
That sucked. But what was even worse was when the techs got in and looked at the motorhome, they verified the leak. like David had said to them on the phone, but then continued to say they did not have the part and it would take a week to get in!
The techs said they’d give him a call on Friday just to verify that they did indeed get the part and that David would be set for the following Monday’s appointment.
So back home he drove. With another appointment for the following Monday.
Mind you, this is a 45 minute drive one way. That’s a lot of gas wasted just to be told to come back another time.
So, Monday rolled around and we never heard from anyone at Tracey’s about the part coming in or not. David got on the phone and yes, the part was there. So he proceeded to drive the 45 minutes, through rush hour no less, back to Tracey’s to get the air ride adjustment valve replaced and then be able to pass inspection. As it could not pass inspection without this fix.
Before David left to drive home he asked and was reassured that the ride height adjustment was set at the proper height.
Well…guess what. Yup…the ride height was off. The entire way home David felt himself leaning to the right.
When he got home, he called Freightliner and they told him how to check under the coach and measure the height. Low and behold, the ride height was off by almost 3 inches! According to Freightliner, the ride height should be set at 10 1/4 inches in the back, on both sides and the front should be 10 1/2.
So instead of driving back and wasting more gas, David got under the rig and did it himself. Thanks to the wonderful help from the Freightliner company themselves in the rv support center, he knew exactly what to do. It is good to point out that they did caution David to the dangers of doing this himself. But he was a man on a mission and already had a plan. Freightliner in Gaffney, SC have always been wonderful to deal with!
Your mother was right by the way. If you want something done right, you have to do it yourself.
And no worries, David was very careful with making sure the jacks were down supporting the coach as he was under it.
So this is what our afternoon consisted of.
Turn on coach to air up. Once aired up, turn off coach. Put jacks down for support. Crawl under coach. Make adjustment. Crawl out from under coach. Put jacks up. Turn coach on to make sure air is still fully up. Crawl back under coach to take measurement. Turn off coach (Brenda helping in this process) Crawl back out with new measurement.
Repeat several times to get correct measurement. Laugh at husband because he’s full of grease and take pictures for blog.
We are happy to report that David was able to get the coach to exactly 10 1/4 inches in the back and the front was still at 10 1/2. So yeah for David!
I told David he should call Tracey’s because I don’t mind paying for labor when work is done, BUT…it was not completed. It was not measured and readjusted for the proper ride height. Even after David asked the tech about it and accepted that the job was done. I don’t care who you are, you should not have to crawl under your coach and fix the height after we just paid to have it replaced and fixed.
Surprise surprise, Tracey’s didn’t seem to care. It seemed to go in one ear and out the other. The service manager did quiz David on how he measured the height and what he knew to be the correct height. To try and prove that David didn’t know what he was talking about.
Once David proved he knew what he was talking about, as he is good with these types of things, the service manager did apologize. But that’s it. No money back. No discount for the labor that David had to complete.
I think maybe I’ll send them an invoice for David’s time in fixing what should have been fixed in the first place.
Like that’ll go anywhere.
If you look real close at these two side by side pictures you can see the difference. The before picture you can see the coach leaning to the left. The driver’s side sits higher than the passenger side.
The after picture shows the coach sitting level now. Like it should be.
It’s subtle, but very noticeable when you’re driving down the road and the driver’s side sits 3 inches taller than the passenger side.
Unfortunately, our only choice in Rochester for Freightliner work is Tracey’s. And they are nice and knowledgeable people. But…you are only as good as your technician. No matter where you go or who you trust.
It’s unfortunate that you have to stay on top of things like this and you can’t just take someone’s word for it.
Oh well. David knows now that this is something that he could replace if/when the other two air ride height adjustment bags go bad. Seeing that he just spent the afternoon getting to know the system pretty well.
I’m crossing my fingers it won’t come to that.