Wednesday, September 7, 2011

A Day at the Dealers

On Tuesday the final walk thru and pick up of the Alfa was scheduled for 11:00 a.m.  I figured we would be there for a couple of hours, then go to a parking lot for some practice and be on our way home by mid-afternoon.


Our service guy was very thorough and explained every switch and item in the coach. We checked electrical outlets and lights, appliances and mirrors.  He allowed us to ask questions as we went, and we noted several things that still needed attention (one burner on the stove didn't light, and the back engine cover was still not closing right although they had worked on it.)  We video-recorded almost all of the three plus hours he spent with us.  

The water issue had been taken care of and it now doesn't have a bad smell.  We are used to using bottled water for cooking and drinking at home because our mountain water sometimes tastes off, so we will probably continue this in the RV.  

We noted a couple of things the salesman promised would be fixed in the final service check that had not been done (sliding doors not quite right).

The problem with the upper corner slide caulking had not been worked on at all.  We went to the service writer and he checked with the guy that was supposed to have done it.  He said there was nothing wrong.  We took issue and since it was one of the written to-do items, our guy took another look and spent about an hour caulking while we waited.

We were happy to see six new coach batteries, and glad we didn't have to deal with propane or fuel right off.  They filled the propane and put in a half tank of fuel.  Full would have been nicer, but we actually expected "fumes."

Supposedly all routine services, oil change, fluids topped etc. had been done as part of their standard pre delivery policy.  But we were not provided with any records.  We asked for something, but were given a bit of a run around, and were by that time feeling comfortable with the condition of the Alfa and totally overloaded with information so we let it go.

It was 5 p.m. by the time we were finished and Craig got into the Alfa and I went to the Prius.  The Prius wouldn't start! This has never happened before and we had no idea what was wrong.  

Craig looked thru the Prius owner's manual and decided it might have a dead battery.  I was going to call Coachnet (covers all of our vehicles) but one of the mechanics from La Mesa wheeled out a jump-start cart.  It took awhile for the two of them to figure out how to open the compartment under the hood of the Prius to give it a jump, but finally did, and it started right up.  Later in the evening Craig decided he must have forgotten to turn it off.  He was so stressed by the whole process that he had forgotten a simple almost automatic step in driving his own car!

By this time we figured it was best to skip the practice and just drive home.  I wrote about that yesterday.

All in all we were satisfied.  Not overly pleased, but satisfied.  At no point did we ever feel "taken care of".  We had to push for everything (except for the batteries and fuel) and were glad to see the end of the day.  Hopefully we will not have any issues in the next 15/30 days.  We bought an extended warranty plan, so if the issues are minor we might just wait and use it for help in getting repairs.  I hope we don't have any!

As usual I had a very hard time sleeping last night, but it was a different kind of wakefulness.  Instead of worry, I was kept awake by excitement!

The best part of the day was when on several occasions Craig said 

"I really like this machine!"    


  1. sweetness abounds in Merikayland...

  2. There always has to be an issue or two that has to be worked out. Sure would be nice if everything would go completely smooth but it doesn't. The MH is going to look so good when you get the trees out of the way. That's another reason I like the desert so much - no trees to fight with. I got excited when I read Craig's comment. Even with all the problems - that's what it's all about.

  3. Just once it would be nice to feel taken care of by a dealer. Our RV dealer guy cut an awning strap because it wouldn't come out instead of getting a tech out to check it, red flag # 1 followed by many more after.

    My Ford dealer does a great job of taking care of me but then I have been buying from him since 1984!

    In the end Craig said it best, it's worth it in the end and one look at the rig puts a smile on your face. :)

    Have fun!


  4. Now all you have to do is go on your first outing. I think I'll do what you did the next RV I get, and film the walk through. Course, I know more now than I did then so it will never be as difficult again. Congratulations Merikay and Craig.

  5. sleep well!!..your rig is home and that is all that matters..just think where you were a few months ago!..and start packing it up so you can venture out on your first trip!!

  6. All in all things seem to be going OK. You must be so excited to start making it 'your place'. I can understand Craig's car issue - after getting my car hooked up behind the motorhome, I forgot to turn it off - finally after an hour I remembered it, we pulled over and shut it off. Stuff happens!

    So glad Craig seems happy with the Alpha and your RV future.

  7. How exciting! :) Can't wait to see pictures as you start making 'er yours. :)

    We were lucky - our dealer experience was very positive. It was worth driving to TN to work with that dealership.

  8. Know what you mean by the coach orientation all being very confusing. So many things to take in and try to remember all at once. It seems kinda clear and understandable when he first explains things but by the time a person gets home with their mind awhirl it's hard to even remember the front end of the rig from the back. Where was the coach's main fuse panel again? And, what was it he said about switching the refrigerator from electric to propane?????????????

  9. I'm glad they took so much time for your walk through. There is so much to know on a diesel pusher motorhome.

    You mentioned on my blog how far we had come in a year. How about how far you have come in the past few months. I remember a time not long ago when you had given up on your dream of owning a motor home....and look at you now.

    Now you just need to get some trees cut back so that you can level the Alfa and cook your first meal in it and spend the night! Don't forget to check out "" if you decide on a new mattress. We love ours!

  10. I'm glad you're out of there and home safely.

    After following this whole story, I don't think I'd ever want to set foot on that dealer's lot. They sure need some lessons is customer relations and service.

  11. Rick may be right, but our LaMesa in Tucson does a splendid job for us. Of course, we've never bought a vehicle there, and don't expect to ever buy a new RV anywhere. Plans written in Jell-O?

    Glad it's over now!

  12. Glad to hear that all in all, you are pleased with the new rig. Looking forward to more stories!

  13. Glad to hear they spent so much time going over everything with you guys! You will learn so much just by driving and living in the MH...nothing like hands-on!!
    You need to plan an outing very soon.

  14. I'm glad you got most of your issues dealt with and that this rig puts a smile on Craig's face. I think all the frustration would be worth it to hear that. :)


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