Following Hurricane Matthew - Winter 2017 travel blog




Good friends and close readers of this blog will recall that when we left home in October, one of the big slide out walls in our motor home that contains the kitchen and couch had stopped working. We hoped that we could swing past Newmar, the manufacturer of our motor home, since Elkhart IN where they are located was nearly on our route. They said they were totally booked up for eight weeks and could not find any other midwestern dealers to help us in a timely manner. There's a general repair facility here at The Great Outdoors, but they were booked up for months as well. New friends here who also own a Newmar, recommended a Newmar dealer in Winter Garden where they had warranty work done.

There are lots of Florida towns that have names with "winter" in them. Winter Park, Winter Haven, Winter Garden come to mind without even looking at a map. I knew that one of them was fairly close by. Unfortunately that wasn't Winter Garden. We left TGO in the dark and drove through construction and rush hour in Orlando to get to Winter Garden. While Ken was in the office finalizing our appointment, I disconnected the hitch which connects the Jeep to the motor home. This normally is not my responsibility and my concentration was interrupted by a couple who stopped to verify that I was indeed part of the RV Navigator duo whose podcast they listen to and laugh to every month. They said our podcast had brought them here to purchase their own Newmar. Too bad we still haven't learned how to monetize this....

Usually when we have repairs done we sit around in the waiting room and I gnash my teeth as the estimated finish time is two hours earlier than the actual one. Because we were in the Orlando area, there was lots to do while the technicians went over our motor home, repairing the slide and looking for issues raised by recent maintenance bulletins. We visited downtown Winter Garden, a charming little town that began in the late 1800's as a railroad terminus for orange growers to send their golden globes north. Today it is on a rails-to-trails bike trail, something we might need to check out some day. By the time we finished messing around, stopping at a few of our favorite retail establishments, the phone rang and the coach was finished.

Ken had been reading complaints Newmar owners had about bolts that had come loose over time and slide motors falling off. Our bolts were just loose enough to alert the sensors not to move, but the $800 motor was still attached. Whew! They checked all our bolts on all the slide motors and replaced them with loctite. We ended up only paying for about two hours of labor. We were impressed by their honesty and professionalism and will recommend Independence RV to anyone in the area.

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