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YEAR #2 - STOP #48

Today's travels were 120 miles due west to Columbus, OH, which happens to be the state capital. We're not here to see the big city sights, instead we're here to finally get a few warranty repairs done to THE POD at Haydocy Airstream & RV.

We've been living full-time in our Airstream for over 15 months now and well, we have three semi-major issues that now require some professional attention. If you've been reading along you already know about our kitchen sink problems. I have remounted it to the bottom of the kitchen counter twice now, using the factory clips and screws. Finally I just gave up and wedged several 2x4's under it to support the weight until we can get it professionally looked at. We'll see what kind of solution they come up with to permanently keep it in place.

The second issue involves our tongue jack, it no longer holds the weight when we try to install our weight distribution/anti-sway bars between THE POD and ROVER. We have a factory installed 4,000 pound jack on the front of THE POD. It's more than capable of supporting the 700 pound tongue weight of the trailer when we are parked at a campsite. The problem arises when it's time to hook up the weight distribution/anti-sway bars for towing. In order to install the bars you must first hook the trailer to the truck, then lift them both together until they are high enough to install the bars. This means the 700 pounds of trailer and the unknown weight of the rear of the truck must be greater than the 4,000 pound limit of the jack. It used to work fine, but lately it has started slipping when the jack is at it's maximum extension. This only occurs when the campsite driveway is very slanted downwards, causing the front of the truck to be higher than the back of the truck, which means it has to lift higher to get everything level. Airstream will replace it free under our 2-year factory warranty with another identical 4,000 pound jack. If and when it begins to fail again, I'll replace it with a higher rated jack with money out of our own pocket.

The third issue involves the distribution knob between our two 30lb. propane tanks. The factory knob has a built it pressure indicator so you know which tank has gas and which is empty, so you can select the correct one to use. The knob broke off and now spins completely around which allows both tanks to be used at the same time and no longer indicates empty or full anymore. This is not covered under warranty so we're replacing it with a simple left/right switch to choose which tank to use. If the chosen tank runs empty it will begin using the second tank at a reduced flow rate until we manually switch it over. In order to choose which tank to use I purchased and installed a magnetic blue-tooth sensor under each tank that relays information to my phone on exactly what percentage the tank is at, so no more surprises of empty propane tanks.

We have a short list of other minor annoyances, but if this dealership can just get these three semi-major problems resolved we can wait until March on the rest, when we have another appointment at a different dealership just before our two year warranty runs out. Hopefully nothing needs to be added to the list between now and then!

We arrived here at Haydocy Airstream on Thursday afternoon and the Service Manager was quick to get all our issues down on paper so he could order any parts that would be needed to make the repairs. Unfortunately they won't be able to work on THE POD until Monday, but the good news is we get to camp in their parking lot, with electrical hookups, until then for FREE. Four free nights here is like saving $100 in camping fees, that will almost pay for the propane switch.

MONDAY - We have something SPECIAL planned for today! We going on a tour of the factory where THE POD was assembled. A little over an hour drive from Haydocy Airstream in Columbus is the birthplace of every new Airstream being made today, the Airstream Factory in Jackson Center, OH. The factory offers two-hour tours to see exactly how they hand build every single trailer and motorhome. Since we have to be out of THE POD so they can work on it today, it's the perfect day to go see the tour. Unfortunately, they don't permit any photography inside the factory, so we won't have any photos to share.

Just as our tour was wrapping up we got a phone call from Haydocy Airstream to update us on what repairs they were able to accomplish today. They were only able to fix two of our three major problems and a few of our small annoyances. The kitchen sink was not repaired, it was our #1 problem! They took one look at it and decided they didn't even want to attempt a repair. It was suggested that while we were here at the factory we inquire if they could squeeze us in any time soon. Usually all service appointments at the factory are scheduled 3-4 months in advance.

We spoke to the Service Manager and while he didn't make any promises, he did say maybe on Wednesday or Thursday they might be able to help us with our problem. Rather than wait until Wednesday to call him, we thought it better to just move THE POD over to their small little camping area here at the factory. We called and postponed our arrival date at the state park where we have reserved a campsite for the upcoming week.

Our normal routine is to change campsites in the late morning, after rush hour, and arrive mid-afternoon. Today would be different! Arriving back at Haydocy Airstream at 5PM we ate a quick dinner at White Castle down the street, hooked up THE POD and joined the Columbus rush hour traffic on the Interstate.

See the campsite circles on the right?

There are only 24 camping pads here at The Terraport, that's what Airstream calls their campground. There are 3 circular drives with 8 spokes pointing towards the center like a wagon wheel. Each spoke (i.e. camping pad) comes with electric, water and sewer hookups. The cost is just $10 a night. It's a real bargain for full hookups! Of course there are no bathhouses with showers, no fire pits or picnic tables. What you do get is free Wifi in a comfortable lounge area with free coffee, hot chocolate or tea. Even better, the campsites are free the day before, the day of and the day after your trailer is in for service.

We are going to wait right here until the weekend to see if they can squeeze us in. If not, we'll be back on Tuesday after the long Labor Day Weekend. Cross your fingers for us!

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