We’ve moved on from a great stay in Baker City, and I have a fun story from there which I will write and post in a day or two . First, though, some good news on a couple of our dysfunctional items, and on thoughts on your comments on my prior post:
Our water heater problem is fixed! It took two stops: the first at the officially certified Suburban water heater repair shop in Boise, Idaho, where they diagnosed our problem as a major meltdown of our AC electric system (we didn’t try to talk them out of this ridiculous idea, since we have already lost faith in their ability to help us); the second to Boise Valley (not mentioned on Suburban’s list of authorized repair facilities), neighbor to - and recommended by - the first place.
Dave Duncan at Boise Valley RV accommodated us immediately when we showed up in mid-afternoon. Very personable, he is one of those guys who has been working with RV’s forever, and you immediately feel he will stick with the problem until he finds it and fixes it. Within an hour, our water heater was working. We stuck around long enough to make sure it was indeed fixed, paid the bill, and went on our way. YAY! Oh, and Odel got a free t-shirt in Boise Bronco orange (blindingly bright), which is is wearing proudly as we sightsee in Boise.
(Here is another plug for RVServiceReviews.com. Please, please review your good and bad service experiences there, and don’t forget to check it out before you pick a service facility.)
While in Baker City, our almost-two-year-old Garmin 255WT GPS died, unable to load its map. We still had a couple weeks left on our Geek Squad Black Tie Protection Plan, so we headed over to the Boise Best Buy while the water heater repair was underway. They don’t bother repairing 2 year old GPS units, so we qualified for a swap – our non-functional unit for a new, equivalent GPS.
Soon after buying our first GPS, I decided that there was one feature ours didn’t have that I would pay extra for: route optimization, the ability to add several stops to a route and have the GPS arrange them in the most logical order. So, instead of wanting a new “equivalent” GPS, I wanted a new, improved GPS, with the capability to add and rearrange many stops.
For an extra $30, we were able to turn in the non-functional GPS and upgrade to the unit I wanted (which was on sale). We walked out the door with a new Garmin 1450 LMT with free lifetime map updates, route optimization, up-to-date maps and points of interest, and other goodies made possible by technical advances in the past two years. We are very, very happy with that result. While we don’t rely on our GPS for route planning when moving the motorhome (though we do plug in the final route when we have checked out all our usual sources), we’ve come to rely heavily on the GPS when we are in the Jeep, navigating unfamiliar roads. I’m having a great time playing with the new GPS here in Boise, discovering several new features we will enjoy.
Now, a couple of thoughts on your comments on my last post:
Don’t worry about our windshield. The crack is off to one side, vertical, not in our line of vision, and has already run from one edge to the other. We have reported it to our insurance company and we keep an eye on it, but nothing about it changes. We aren’t worried that our windshield is going to fall out.
Several of you have suggested a residential refrigerator, and we have considered that as a possibility if our current refrigerator requires costly repairs. Though we boondock infrequently, we DO boondock a week or so at a time once or twice during the year, and don’t want to lose that capability. Because we boondock so infrequently, and because our motorhome came with a humongous generator which needs to be “exercised” at least monthly to keep it in tip-tip shape, we have never invested in a solar system. With our current setup, we can boondock for 36-48 hours in moderate weather without recharging if we run our water heater and refrigerator on gas and turn off the inverter when we don’t need it. Before we would switch to a residential refrigerator, we would need to figure out whether we would still have reasonable boondocking capability (meaning: no need to run the generator more than once a day for an hour or two).
Croft, thanks for the laugh with your refrigerator comment. We have had BOTH doors fall off (not at the same time, thank goodness)! That’s a shock, isn’t it? And of course the entire door has to be replaced because the little hinge that broke is an integral part of the door… sheesh.
Speaking of residential refrigerators and general RV problems, I can’t sign off without mentioning our blogging friend Judy (Travels with Emma). She had a residential refrigerator installed last winter, and her blog is a great source of information on the process (click Upgrade Update and Refer Update Part Two to read her posts about the replacement).
Judy is now experiencing the mean mother of all RV problems: her RV’s computer mother board has failed. Read her recent posts (beginning here, with her post from September 12) if you want to put minor RV problems into perspective!