Well, not me really, but I’m not exactly a happy camper and my RV has been smoking! Here’s what’s happening:
At around 5:00 this morning, I heard the heat pump turn off. Since that woke me up, I was going to turn on the TV to get back to sleep and that’s when I noticed I had no electricity. I tried tripping the breakers on the inside with no luck. I thought it was weird because I knew nothing else electric was on and I had run the heat pump on 30 amps for years with no problems as long as nothing else like the water heater was on. So I finally went back to sleep figuring it would be the outside breaker but I’d wait until it was daylight to check that out. I also knew that Proud Lake had redone their electrical hookups in the last year and they looked brand new and in good shape, so I didn’t figure it was “old park syndrome.”
So when I tripped the outside breaker and still no luck, that’s when I opened the bin to the electric box and saw the burnt hole.
PANIC ATTACK COMING ON!
I first called my “touchstone” Tab. I had learned so much from him and Deanna during my visit with them before arriving in MI and they agreed to serve that purpose for me and told me I could call them whenever I needed reassurance and confirmation that everything will be alright.
Just his calm demeanor helped calm me down while one of the rangers came over to check out the campground’s box to make sure everything was alright there and it was. So I proceeded with my routine for dealing with necessary repairs.
I got out the appropriate manual from the massive amount of material Winnebago provides on the systems. Found out that Todd Engineering, the manufacturer of that relay box was no longer in business. Great!
Called Winnebago, and a great tech, Tom, listened to my tale of woe, told me the part that would need to be replaced, directed me to the website with the wiring diagram for the tech’s reference, gave me the name of the certified service center nearest to me, and generally further soothed my raw nerves.
I told myself just like I did when I had a problem with the generator in Alaska – you can’t expect to drive a house 1,400 miles with no problems or repairs, Malia! Problems are made to be resolved and repairs can be made.
But I did have another talk with myself to pay more attention to my instincts. Hours before I went to bed, I noticed a burnt smell inside the motorhome. I even went outside to look around and since there were 2 sites right around me with campfires burning, I figured that was it. I remember thinking it still smelled funny, but I ignored it because everything seemed alright at that point – all electricity working. But now looking back, I am just grateful I did not literally get burnt out last night! Tom provided a nice moment of needed levity when he said, “I’m just glad you didn’t have a “thermal event” – we don’t call them fires.”
Update at 4:00 pm:
Guess I won’t have electricity tonight…
Winnebago recommended replacement part Parallax ATS 501. But the local authorized dealer they referred me to (General RV) does not have that – they have the Progressive Dynamics brand. The General RV store in Wixom has the Parallax ATS-501, but at $250 compared to the $150 I’d pay for the Progressive Dynamics. So of course, I’d like to know the difference between the two. I don’t mind paying more if I understand the benefits, so I’m trying to figure that out while I find out who can do the repairs and when once I get the part. Winnebago cannot tell me if Progressive Dynamics would work, either.
I’m still trying to remain calm and positive. On the one hand, I’m resentful of all the time this is taking and the uncertainty of it all. I hate being without electricity – this will definitely make me more thankful when I have it again. And I’m thankful now that it’s not as warm here as it was in Holly – at least I can have the windows open and be comfortable, and it’s a beautiful sunny day.
Nice guy from Parallax, Pat, called me back and referred me to their nearest distributor, Master Techs in Marshall. Spoke to great lady there, Vicki, who was a huge help. Since they sell both Parallax and Progressive Dynamics, the first thing she clarified is that the Progressive Dynamics part (PD 5121010) option is 50 amp, but 120 volt. Since the old Todd box shows 120/240 volt, she instructed me on how to get to the inside and send her a picture of the wiring set up to make sure I get the correct one.
Look at all these burnt wires – freaky!
After their review, Vicki was kind enough to explain the differences between the ones I’ve been told about and it comes down to this:
Progressive Dynamic (PD5121010) from General RV for $150 is 50 amp, but only 120 volt, so not a match.
Parallax 501 from them (120/240 volt) would be $170.
She did tell about the Esco brand (LPT50-BRD) that is $30 less, but it only has a 1 year warranty vs. the 2 years that Parallax gives. Given that, and since Winnebago recommended the Parallax brand, I’m going with that. Whew – progress!
She was kind enough to throw in free overnight delivery, so it will arrive at the campground tomorrow and Ed at Hitch-it-Rite will come out to install it. Thanks to everyone who took the time to talk with me about this, and for those who kept the encouraging comments and emails coming in. I really appreciate it!
I heard from one woman who said she thinks maybe these things happen to me so that I can write about them and help others that are going through something similar that don’t have the same kind of research talents and resources, etc. that I have. I really do love being able to understand new things and help others in tense situations such as this. But I’d still like to just have an uneventful stay somewhere without all this drama! Hopefully more of those days are ahead!
So far my house batteries are holding at 12.3 volts, and at least I’m sitting here able to work and keep my phone charged because of the suggestion by one of the attorneys, Maria, at my client’s office (see comments below) – thanks so much, Maria!
So now at 2:00 pm I’d better get some lunch and get back to work for my virtual clients to make back some of this money this is costing me! 🙂
I’m electrified again! Clint from Hitch-It-Rite got me all fixed up, and after first checking the two most important things (microwave and TV) everything seems to be working great. I can’t believe how happy I am to have electricity again – how in the world did people survive before it???
I’m so thankful that my house batteries got me through all 3 days without having to charge.
I’m also thankful to the people at 3 different General RV locations who tried to help me find the right part. I’m thankful to Tom at Winnebago for his personal attention to a customer when I know he usually works just with dealer service techs. I’m thankful to Pat at Parallax who returned my voice mail even when it was obvious I wasn’t a distributor. It’s not always easy to get through to manufacturers these days. I’m thankful to Vicki at Master Techs who made absolutely sure I got the right part I needed at a good price and with free overnight shipping. I’m thankful to Judy at Proud Lake for making sure I got the part as soon as it was delivered to the administrative office. I’m thankful to Ed at Hitch-It-Rite for sending Clint out here to an area they don’t usually work in. And I’m also thankful for all my friends who expressed their concern. Now I’m going to watch TV while eating some microwaved popcorn!