Today's blog entry has been done by a special guest writer, whose desire to attend Camp Freightliner bought us to Gaffney:
Spending $200k plus on a motorhome makes us want to keep it in good shape for future travels. The chassis costs between $90-$190k of the final price so it is a major component in a motorhome. Time spent in Gaffney, SC is not really a vacation but a learning opportunity. Our motorhome chassis (the running gear, engine, suspension, tires, brakes, etc.) was manufactured by Freigthliner Custom Chassis in Gaffney. Motorhomes are very different from the cars that we’ve owned. Not only are they run by a diesel engine, but they have air brakes and suspension, side radiator, and huge tires. They drive differently and require different maintenance strategies than a car. So, spending time at a workshop designed to teach these nuances is not a bad idea if you want to keep things running smoothly down the road. The class was a full two days and oriented only to RV’ers (not truckers, who also use Freigthliner chassis). A 400 page reference manual was included to provide reminders for when I forget something learned in class. We discussed good engine maintenance, where components are located, and good driving techniques (when to use your engine brake and at what RPM will you get the best fuel milage while going uphill). At one point we all gathered around a naked chassis for a walk around to see what’s beneath the house that we call home.
While here we also scheduled a service appointment for our motorhome. It has been almost three years since it was built, so it needed a complete check up even though it only has 15,000 miles on the odometer. An engine like ours takes about seven gallons of oil for an oil change (versus five quarts for the typical car) so everything gets to be expensive on these vehicles.
After two days of intensive learning, a factory tour and a day of in shop maintenance, a “free” T shirt and hat, we are ready to hit the road once again. We are ready and so is the motorhome.