Friday, October 8, 2010


On September 27th, I purchased a 26 foot 2008 Coachmen Freedom Express motorhome in Tallahassee, Florida (with 11,000 miles) and I drove her home to Houma, Louisiana the next day. I enjoy driving the unit but it is a bit daunting.

Once home from Florida, she began to have issues. The generator would not start, the rear end was leaking oil all over my driveway, the bathroom light would not work, the water heater leaked, and the door to the water fill flew off coming home. I didn't panic but began making phone calls to find a Ford dealer who would work on the RV. Our local dealer is not equiped to work on motorhomes so I looked for help in New Orleans, an hour away.

I did find a local Onan generator technician who put me on a list and said he would call me when he got caught up. I found a local mechanic who does work on large trucks and said he would fix the oil leak for me next week. I was informed by Tallahassee's Camping World that there was a Service Department in Hammond, Louisiana that would work on my RV. I called the number and was told that Ford had to do the chassis work and they could do other types of service for me. I really did not want to drive out of town with oil leaking so I will take it here locally.

The first mechanic I took the RV to said that the under side of the RV was rusted pretty bad like it had been in salt water. He also said that the tires were cracked and dry rotted. He referred me to a local tire center and the workers there looked at the tires and said the same thing. I got an estimate of $1500 for 6 new tires.

I will have to take it to New Orleans for an undercoating to prevent the spread of rust. So my beautiful Freedom Express sits idle in my driveway, waiting for the RV doctors to fix her so she can take me onto the open road in search of exciting adventures that await us. However, I'm not sure there will be trips any time soon as the cost of these repairs will be about $3,000. A pretty big hit to my wallet, especially after paying $51,000 for the unit and $4,000 in taxes for Florida and Louisiana.

I'm trying not to have a negative attitude about all this, but I do feel that I got a bad deal on this unit. I feel sure that the technicians at Camping World knew about the tires and the rust. The generator was indeed working when we left Florida, however I don't know when the oil leak began as I did not pay any attention to any spots on the cement parking lot at Camping World. I'll just bite the bullet and fix everything I can. Perhaps some time next year I will consider selling it or trading it in on a camper trailer that I can pull. Life is a learning experience.

I've learned that people who care about you will tell you about things that can present a danger to your wellbeing. If I could have had the mechanic I deal with here at home - with me in Florida, I probably would not have purchased that unit... upon his recommendations. We live and learn, don't we?

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