Vehicle Repairs and Maintenance

One of the important things to do when you live on the road is to keep your vehicles properly maintained.  With that in mind we are currently in Gaffney, SC to have the coach serviced.  Gaffney is home to Freightliner, the company that makes the chassis of our motorhome.  Fleetwood RV buys the chassis (engine, frame, wheels, etc.) then builds the coach on top of it.  Since they build them here, this is the best place to get them serviced.  The warranty on the chassis expires on October 1st so we came a bit early to insure that anything needed is replaced before that expiration date.

We have noticed that the tires on the trailer seem to be wearing excessively on the inside, which indicates an alignment problem similar to the front tires on a car.  But since the wheels are on a fixed, or permanent, axle it is unusual to have this happen to a trailer.  We purchased the trailer in Mooresville, NC, just north of Charlotte and, since we were passing right by there on the way to Gaffney, we stopped in to have them look at the tires.  They found them to be out of line, just as we suspected, and said it would take about two hours to repair.  They said they rarely saw their trailers have this problem and it was probably caused by very poor roads.  We have been to Canada at least three times and find the roads there very poor.  On our first trip we hit a very large pothole on the main highway entering Nova Scotia so hard one of the tire straps came loose, something we never experienced, before or after that.  We suspect that may have caused the problem.  So, after a two hour wait eased by a visit to the local Starbucks, we were ready to load up the vehicles and continue our journey.  But when John went to start the motorcycle, he found someone (??) forgot to turn off the ignition after taking it off the trailer (this was a tough one to try to blame on Pam).  The headlight stays on when the ignition is on so, after sitting for two hours, it was completely dead.  We tried jump starting it by having Pam push the bike with John on it, but pushing motorcycles apparently is not one of her strengths (wish we had a video of that for Youtube!).  Two of the techs who worked on the trailer tried pushing, but it would not start (so I guess Pam didn’t do too badly).  When we removed the seat to put the charger on the battery, we found the date of installation was 2004!  So off John went to the local Harley dealer for a new battery.  Two hours later we were finally loaded and back on the road.  What was to be a brief stop turned in to an expensive five hour visit!

Sitting at the Freightliner Service Center

Since we are not schedule to arrive at our next stop until the end of the week, we decided to just remain in the parking area of the service center and do a bit of sightseeing.  Gaffney is home to Limestone College, a very nice small school with less than 900 resident students, so on two sunny mornings we completed our walking routine on the campus.

Just a few miles up the road is an important Revolutionary War battlefield called Cowpens, where a group of American regulars aided by a large number of local militia

 defeated a much larger and better equipped British force.  We visited the battlefield last year but wanted to return after we both read the historical fiction book, Brave Enemies by Robert Morgan. The book tells the story of a 16 year old girl who, after a family tragedy, joins a local militia disguised as a boy, and participates in the Cowpens battle.  It’s an easy read that would be great preparation if you ever visit this battlefield


We extend our sympathy to those back in Pennsylvania where it is still raining, but the weather here is excellent.  We now head into the southwest corner of North Carolina for a month’s stay near Murphy, NC where we may finally get the chance to take the motorcycle for a ride into the beautiful Smoky Mountains.

More on that later . . .

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3 Responses to Vehicle Repairs and Maintenance

  1. Marsha says:

    Great blog. We too keep our MH (house) in good condition. That is one thing Paul insisted on before we started full timing. We enjoyed our 3 day stay in Gaffney. Yes, the Battlefield was wonderful and we too did the college tour. We went into many of the buildings…beautiful.
    Don’t be too hard on the “old” man. He forgot to go through the check list on the bike…but a good thing came out of it. A new battery…you could have been on a skinny road to no where, and it not start.

  2. frankeeg says:

    I know what you mean by the motorcycle battery going flat. My lights and ignition system are the same. After leaving it with the dealer for a service I called back next day to collect it. Yep! Flast battery. The apprentice mechanic did not turn off the ignition. He left the keys still in the ON position. I left the cycle behind last year as we cannot tow it. My lucky daughter now has a bike to ride on.

  3. Steve will be taking a Camp Freightliner training class in May. Any tips on a good RV park around the area? Our first two weeks will be at BlackMountain State Park after that is still a blank slate.

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