For the past six years, we have used a Wave 6 (brand) propane catalytic heater to warm up Scoopy when we are boon docking – or anytime we don’t want the noise of the furnace or an electric space heater – and we have been very happy with it. In the past few months, though, we have noticed the faint smell of propane when we turn it on, and it doesn’t heat nearly as well as it has in the past.
Odel called the factory to find out where we could take it for servicing. The answer: back to the factory, in NORTH CAROLINA! We pay shipping, we pay labor to determine the cause, and we pay parts. It is very likely that the part needed is a new “pad” (Wave heater owners will know what this is), $118.00. The total cost for the shipping and repair would likely be $200 or so, plus all the hassle. No, they don’t ship parts so, no, we can’t buy the parts and have it repaired somewhere convenient for us.
They lost our business then and there.
Quartzsite, AZ, the center of the western RV’ers purchasing universe, was directly on our route from Indio to Phoenix, so we scheduled a night of boon docking there – just long enough to purchase and test a new heater from a different manufacturer. After a stop in Ehrenburg for diesel ($2.749/gallon), we pulled into the Scaddan Wash BLM 14-day free camping area just off of I-10 around 1:30.
The day’s travel stats: 124.9 miles, 2:43 travel time, average speed 52.4 mph, max speed 66.7 mph. (I’m sure I will tire of the new GPS and its statistical abilities – but not yet!)
Camping here is so easy: find a flat spot not too close to the neighbors, set up, enjoy. Because Odel is dust-averse, we didn’t drive far off the pavement (unlike when we join the Boomers here in busy January, when we drive a couple VERY DUSTY miles to the middle of nowhere). The interstate traffic was very nearby, but it calms considerably during the night.
We unhitched Jules, hopped in, and took off for RV Lifestyles, a few miles back into Quartzsite. In no time at all we made our purchase – a brand new, Kozy World 2 Brick propane radiant heater, 10,000 BTU, with a stand and the fittings we needed to work with our quick-release connection. Total cost: $245. Time: about 1 1/2 hours for purchase and set up.
Businesses, take note – that is how easy it is to send an otherwise satisfied customer out your door to another manufacturer. CUSTOMER SERVICE – embrace it!
I spent about an hour last night lounging on the couch admiring the glow of the new heater as it radiated its warmth in my direction. By the time I went to bed, Scoopy was so warm I had to turn the heater off! Odel turned it back on this morning when the inside temperature was 59 degrees at 5 am. By the time we got up at 7 am, the inside temperature was a few tenths shy of 70 degrees. Oooooohhhhhh… I can tell we are gonna be happy with this.
Now, off to Mesa.