Thursday, November 6, 2014

A Shocking Story, Building an Ark and The World's Longest Vehicle Purchase

The temperatures have moderated and we have even occasionally been going without air conditioning. While closing up the house a couple of evenings ago, I attempted to close the main door. Like many RV's the main door is held open by a gust lock to prevent the wind from slamming it closed. When my hand touched the gust lock I received a substantial electrical shock. We called the folks from Progressive Industries; they built the surge protector, and they ran me through some troubleshooting procedures. They admonished us to be very careful and to call an electrician. Our service person promised to be out first thing the next morning. That morning I took the hounds for a walk. When I returned with the Beagle and she hit the metal entrance steps with her wet feet, she wailed and cried like nobodies business. Getting the eighty plus pound Husky up the steps proved nigh impossible till I shut the power off. At that point, I decided to remove and check the surge protector out. I should have done that earlier as it smelled distinctly like burnt electrical wiring and components. The folks from Progressive Industries are first class and stand behind their products. Their equipment has a lifetime warranty, provided gratis for the original owner. We are sending the surge protector in for them to repair. The service person showed up as promised and checked things out; even though the RV was not showing any voltage on its externals. We moved on and I had him check out my security lights. One had fallen during the last storm and he replaced the bulb. He began to check out the other light and finally plugged it in. Meanwhile, I was on the other side of the RV and reaching to open a basement access door. When I made contact, a strong shock flowed through my body and they say I wailed like the Beagle had earlier. I remain unconvinced that that was the problem, as the folks at Progressive Industries think it has something to do with the generator. The RV is no longer "hot" and I eagerly await news from Progressive Industries. Meantime, we are looking at purchasing an upgraded surge protector that is supposed to "kill" power to the RV before these types of anomalies occur. The phenomenon is apparently known as "hot skin" and fairly common. Even though we have a grounding rod connected to the generator, I plan to put one in for the RV.
Occasionally in the fall, in South Texas, we get flows of moisture laden atmosphere emanating out of the Mexican Pacific coast. When they stall out they can produce epic amounts of rain. This time the air was fueled by a hurricane in the Pacific, but the front is moving. We have had copious amounts of rain, ranging from an inch to a half a foot or more in the last forty eight hours. Work is proceeding on our Ark as I feel this event may not be the only reason we 'll need it. Seriously, getting anything done outside is problematic as there is standing water and ankle deep soft mud everywhere.
On August 22nd, I took delivery of a 2005 Jeep Wrangler Sport. It was plagued by a "check engine" light, seemingly impossible to extinguish by the dealership's mechanics. Although I had had a satisfactory previous buying experience with them, the deal was soured by a wide variety of factors. You can read about it in previous blog entries, but it was an epic journey. I made the purchase at a new branch of the dealership that was woefully unprepared to sell vehicles, mush less repair them. My salesperson was either ill, hung over and/or suffering from some malady. He was eventually let go. Management seemed uncaring and they were unresponsive. The manager and several sales people were transferred during the process. An epic amount of contracts were signed and the Jeep made many trips to and from the shop in San Antonio. When the Jeep was delivered for the final time and the light illuminated yet again, I said no mas! I had noticed a 2010 Ford F-250 4x4 on the dealerships website. It was a four by four, which is what we had primarily wanted, and it had less than 50,000 miles on it. During the odyssey of the Jeep purchase I was told that EVERY vehicle goes through a thorough intake check and any anomalies are repaired before it goes up for sale. Not! At least not in my experience. The F-250 ran well but had a panel conspicuously missing from the dash and several trouble lights illuminated. Not again, I thought. This time; even though it took about a week and involved some teeth gnashing, we got everything we wanted and the vehicle was delivered with everything replaced and/or working. Since we took delivery in New Braunfels, in the late afternoon, and had to navigate through San Antonio in pouring rain, the truck got a thorough shake down cruise.  After getting management involved (even though they refused to communicate with me) and using my experience with the Jeep for leverage, we got a pretty good deal. Believe it or not, I still like and recommend H&R Auto Motors. There are a few good souls that work there.

1 comment:

  1. We also have a PI surge protector, but one that shuts down power to our rig when incoming voltage is either too high or too low. We frequently had power surges/issues at the site in NJ, and our "black box" did its job perfectly. It certainly wasn't inexpensive, but well worth it and still going strong at 5+ years of usage, most of that as full-timers. Good luck and stay safe!