Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Rough Start to our Stay in Yuma AZ…

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We left San Diego after staying a total of 63 days We had a blast there and had a great time with all the people we encountered during our brief stay there. But as it always happens it was time for the RV to go rolling down the road. We have begun a very slow trek back out east although we have yet to decide what our exact summer plans will be.

We only drove about 35 miles  as we chose to stop at The Viejas casino with a plan to visit friends one last time since they were staying in eastern San Diego. Little did we know that the snow in the mountains had chased them down to the casino as well. We both boondocked in the parking lot and had one last happy hour together before they headed to Mission Bay and we headed on to Yuma Arizona.

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We had originally planned to stay at the casino two nights but due to the colder overnight temperatures we chose to move on and boondock at the casino known to Yumans as The Q. We pulled into the Quechan Casino and were surprised to see about 35 other RV’s filling the RV parking lot to near capacity. We tucked in for the evening after having a nice dinner at a good Mexican restaurant we found the last time we visited Yuma, Mi Rancho restaurant Their salsa is very, very tasty and the fajitas we had were also very good…

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The next morning we drove about 16 miles to the foothills just east of Yuma and pulled into the Westwind RV and Golf Resort. We backed into our site and were mostly setup when I went back into the RV and smelled the strong odor of pure ammonia. I knew exactly what happened as I had been reading a lot about our refrigerator lately and anytime there is the  strong ammonia smell it means there is coolant leak . Unfortunately that meant we had lost our cooling system and those, my friends, are not cheap…

Luckily for us the office staff was very helpful in recommending a fellow who told us after we called that we were fortunate as he had one of our particular cooling units in stock. The bad news was the list price on that unit is $1,600.00 and $450 to install it… yep that is a lot of good craft beers I won’t be having as a result of this unfortunate budget buster.

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The next morning Larry of Deluxe RV Service showed up at around 8:40 am and commenced to resolve our problem. It was obvious from the get go that Larry knew what he was doing and wasn’t going to fool around. He had the back wiring and gas disconnected in no time and then before I knew it he had taken off all the doors off the Fridge. He had me assist him in removing the unit from the wall and we laid it down gently on cardboard Larry laid out so he could finish the disassembly of the cooling unit.

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We toted the old unit outside and brought in the new one. Larry cleaned up all the mastic and reapplied the new stuff. He then screwed in all the necessary screws and taped all the seams closed. We hefted the fridge back into place and in short order Larry had put on the doors and finished connecting the remaining items to make it good as new. In all i took about three hours for him to have us up and running again.  All that remained broken was my wallet! In fairness to Larry he charged us a fair price and with his skill and competence I had no problem spending the money for a job well done. If you ever need service while visiting Yuma give Larry a call as I would highly recommend him!!!

Well we didn’t start out well for our two week stay in Yuma but we are sure hoping the remaining part of our stay holds no more costly surprises so we can relax and have some fun at this friendly, activity filled resort…

26 comments:

  1. Ouch! That hurts, for sure. How lucky to be somewhere with someone available to fix the issue AND have the proper part! I'd say that's a good omen for a great rest of the year:)

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  2. I agree. The rest of 2015 will be terrific, especially if/when you gat back to FL and we can play some more. Your waist will not miss those craft beers even thought the taste buds will be going through withdrawal!

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  3. Oh gee, what a way to start but it sounds as though you had the best possible outcome with someone around who know how to take care of it, and sad as it was to have to spend the money, aren't we lucky that we can figure out how to spend it if we have to?: I remember times in my life when I had no resources and no safety net. Bet you can still find a good beer now and then too. at least I hope so.

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  4. $1,600 just for the cooling unit? I thought you could buy a whole new fridge for that price! And at $450 for labor, I think I would have tackled the job myself. But upon looking at the pics, your fridge looks a lot bigger than ours.

    If our fridge ever goes bad, I will adapt to one of those 12 volt only fridge freezers like we used in South Africa.

    www.travelwithkevinandruth.com

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    1. we eat out rarely as we cook nearly all meals at home so our fridge and freezer are stuffed... it would have taken me two days to do the repair myself and after parts and shipping I might have saved 300 bucks and lost 150 bucks or more of food... we made the right choice for us...

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  5. Dang, we just left Quechan this morning after being there for 4 days. It would have been nice to meet you! There are some fellow fulltimer friends of ours at Westwind right now. Their blog is The Wandering Whelan Wagon, you should try to meet them if you have a chance, very nice couple.

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    1. Dang we were probably there when you were... I will try to look them up and say hi from you two...

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  6. Who's kidding whom here? You aren't going to give up your craft beers over a new cooling unit. Yes, you make makes some sacrifices, but IPAs, porters and stouts won't be among them.

    We keep thinking that if and when our fridge gives up the ghost, we will go residential.

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    1. I feel a bit exposed... I have decided to not eat breakfast instead ;)

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  7. Oh my, refrigerator repairs is top of my list of RV concerns! Not only is the fridge expensive to repair, but the loss of food can be expensive too. So glad it was quickly and easily fixed by someone who knows what the heck they are doing.

    How are you liking Westwind???

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    1. We are just getting to know it as we have been adopted by a large group from British Columbia and are having some fun evenings here... need to find a hike soon though!

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  8. We lost a cooling unit in Eugene, OR and then again 363 days later it went again in Yuma, Luckily it was still (barely) under warranty so 'all' we had to pay for was shipping both ways and installation. two years later it went again and we replaced the fridge with another propane unit. There is a lot to be said for replacing with electric units.

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    1. I considered just that Croft but I think I still like the freedom having a electric/propane fridge gives us... but if there is a next time I will probably make the switch!

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  9. Or fridge dies in Destin Florida 2 years ago on New Years Day. Smaller than yours. The camping World there was open and next day put in a new fridge, $1,800. incliding labor. But they had to re and re a window to get it out and back in. So we wid al right, and lost no food. The fridge was 13 years old so can't complain.
    Nice that you got it up and running again.
    Not too warm here in Louisiana Deep freeze tonight, but I should be in Ontario by sunday and it will be much colder there.
    Enjoy the Yuma area, we always do.

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  10. Oh goodness. So sorry to hear about the refrigerator. But, I must say...I am totally jealous of the refrigerator. We had a residential one in the motorhome. This one in our 5er is so small...I really don't like it much!

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  11. I feel your pain as our cooling unit went out on us last summer. Writing that check really hurt.

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  12. Ouch! Finding a capable repairman is often the biggest battle....at least you were able to do that!

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  13. What a way to start the year off, hopefully that's it for awhile. Can't imagine you giving up the craft beer though...

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  14. Glad you were able to get it fixed in short order. No fun spending the money but great to get it taken care of quickly. I think the market returns in 2014 should have given you a little more room to squeeze those beers in.

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  15. Not a cheap repair, but at least you were able to locate a good repairman. We're in the process right now of trying to find a residential refrigerator that will fit in the space our Norcold occupies now.

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  16. Not a cheap repair, but at least you were able to locate a good repairman. We're in the process right now of trying to find a residential refrigerator that will fit in the space our Norcold occupies now.

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  17. I sure agree at your luck that you had a good repairman and he had the part. Our refrig is 10 years old and I really don't know what we'll do when the inevitable happens. I guess it must have been much more expensive even than what you paid to get a new one. I don't think our 35' could handle a residential even if our love for boondocking would permit it. In a year, you won't feel the $$ pain any more. :-)

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  18. Those were a lot of adventures at the very beginning of the year! I can only imagine how disappointed you were as you think of the friends and colleagues you’ll be leaving when your wheels starts rolling again. Anyway, kudos to your handy repairman! It’s nice to know that he did his best in repairing your RV issues. I hope you’ll be able to share more adventures in your future post. Keep safe!

    Liza Pilon @ PrairieCityRV

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