Tiring, It’s Very Tiring Camping World

When you are new to RV’ing or making a purchase of an RV, you are at the mercy of others to help you learn the ropes.  You have to read a lot!

When I bought my vintage Airstream, I knew that it needed work.  I immediately joined Air Forums and read tons of posts.  One thing that was important to me, was making Sterling (my Airstream as I fondly call it), road worthy.  I wanted to know that regardless of the inside condition, I could tow the massive 31′ home on wheels with a sense of security. Sure, accidents can happen no matter the condition, but I needed to do what I could to prevent damage to the RV, my vehicle, me or my family, or other property or people nearby by making sure that it had good tires and breaks.

With a huge location in a nearby town, Camping World seemed to be a reasonable choice for my repairs.  I called ahead and spoke to them in detail about what I was looking for.  There are some repairs that I wanted done that they would not agree to (such as removing the hanging black water tank).   However, we proceeded with the work to get it road worthy.

My work order with Camping World was completed on 5/29/15.  $2,586.27 later I had the following….

camping world.png

Why only one bearing buddy?

So why talk about this now?  Well, being a newbie, I didn’t notice the type of tire used, or the fact that tire valve stems were never replaced, or the fact that lug nuts were missing.  I also didn’t realize that wires were left hanging underneath my RV.  Only till recent plumbing work to remove the black water tank, did I come to know any of this.  The man that worked on my RV for the plumbing work was able to bring all of this to light.  It wasn’t just this man’s word, it was confirmed with Goodyear, Gamble’s Automotive, and another Camping World location that the “P-metric” tires are not recommended for my RV.  So, it HAS been a year.  Doesn’t matter if it had been 6 weeks, 6 months, 1 year, or 5 years.  Camping World needs to make this right!

Why would I want a tire that is made for a small car that cost twice as much?  

After calling Camping World and talking to Jonathan (Service Manager), he said that when they looked up the recommended tires in their system, this was the tires that came up and that these are the ones they had in stock.  He also said that they have a third party that does their tire work.  No apology.  He said I got what I needed.

I told him of my findings and asked if he would install such a tire on his personal RV.  After stuttering, he said yes.  I didn’t feel convinced whatsoever.  I also told him (Jonathan) that they had my RV for many weeks and could have ordered the tire that I truly needed to make it road worthy.  Instead, I got an overpriced tire that is sure to un-deliver.  Their third party provider is not my issue.  They are liable for them.  I stand behind the fact that this tire is not what I should have received.

  • 5/17/16:  A month after my initial call to Camping World with my complaint, I decided to call Camping World Retail Customer Service with my official complaint (1-800-626-3636).  They said that a manager would call me within 48 hours.
  • 5/18/16:  Jonathan (Service Manager at the Calera location) from Camping World called and his words were:  “I talked to you a month ago and this was resolved”.
    • NO, this was not resolved.
    • Jonathan asked for all of my documentation.  I sent several emails to him with copies of documentation on tires that should be used, written notes from a conversation that Glenn (plumber guy) had with Goodyear, pictures of my tires and old valve stems and missing lug nuts.  Jonathan then asked for my invoice from Gamble’s Automotive.  The work was still being done at that time so I did not have it till a few days later and it was emailed to him then (5/23/16).  CRICKETS!  Nothing.  No call back.  No resolution.
  • 5/25/16:  I called Jonathan and left 2 messages with him that I wanted a call back.  No response.
  • 5/27/16:  I called Retail Customer Service back again to report that I still had no resolution and no call back.  They said that they showed a note in the system that Jonathan requested documentation but had not received it to date.  I had sent Jonathan the emails and even have replies and questions back from him.  Not sure why he would report such a thing.  Within minutes of hanging up (after they documented my call and rebuttal), Jonathan calls me to ask what the problem is and that he stands behind the work that was done.  This call was VERY heated.  I am not backing down from this issue.  I want to return the tires (with only 70 miles on them) and I was to be reimbursed for the tires and the labor.  Jonathan sent a follow up email stating that they were wrong in not replacing the tire valve stems and that he would send me a $25 check.  I told him that he should keep that check that I wasn’t done yet.
    • No apology during any of these calls with Jonathan.  Also, we started about 6 months ago (from this date) as the Service Manager.  They have a lot of turn over from what I’m seeing and hearing.  Wonder why?  hmmmm……
  • 5/27-5/30/16- I went on vacation.
    • NOTE:  Jonathan called and left a message for me.  I have not returned his call.  I refuse to deal with him anymore and will only talk to his manager.
  • 6/1/2016- returned Camping World’s call and asked for Frank Mullins. He is on vacation until next Monday. I decided to go ahead and speak to Jonathan.  Jonathan said that he had spoke to Frank Mullins and they would like to offer me a $200 gift card to Camping World and me keep the tires.   I told Jonathan that I would wait until Mr. Mullins returns to the office next week to discuss this matter with him.   Note:  I’m not interested in this deal.
  • STORY TO BE CONTINUED……..it’s all about principle now.  Not the money.  I’m making it my mission to get the word out about their poor service.  Oddly enough, there are many complaints on their Facebook Page.  I should have read those last year before going there.  I’ve added such complaints on Facebook, as well as Yelp.  #missionovermoney

Anyone want to buy 4 new tires?  Barely used and in excellent condition.  If you have a small car, they would be perfect!IMG_7929.JPG

Camping World in Anniston Alabama wouldn’t even suggest a P-Metric tire (per phone call). Here’s my quote I received from them:


Road Worthy, Again

Upon finding out that Camping World of Calera pulled one over on this newbie (new to RV’s), I decided that I needed to get my Airstream road worthy, again.  After picking Sterling up from the plumbing work I had done by Glenn of Alabama RV in Adamsville, AL, I decided to take it straight by Gamble’s Automotive in Bessemer.  I already had it hooked up and I knew that once it got back home, the tires would go flat again.  It was time to get this straightened out once and for all.

The Gamble family is well known in the area and they have a locally owned and operated business.  I had heard some positive things about them and decided to see for myself.

I pulled my 31 footer into their parking lot and immediately started to get visitors to stop and look.  The owner, Donnie Gamble, came out to see what I had going on.  I told him how I had learned that the tires on the Airstream (installed by Camping World of Calera in July of 2015) were “P” rated tires.  He immediately said that for a camper this size (length), this was not the tire that should be on it.  He also pointed out that my valve stems were rotten and that I was missing lug nuts.  WHAT?  Who doesn’t replace valve stems with every set of tires?!

Since the installation of the tires by Camping World, I had driven a total of 70 miles on these “P” rated tires.  When installed in July of 2015, I pulled the RV home to work  on the remodel, and then later to Adamsville, AL for the plumbing repairs (April 2016).  All of the tires lost a ton of pressure and one went entirely flat.  Since I was in the remodel phase, I didn’t worry too much about it at the time.  Little did I know about the rotten valve stems that they never replaced.  I just didn’t know to look for this type of thing.  We live and learn, right?  The wheels where quite rusty, so this could have also been an issue with the tire pressure.  Why didn’t Camping World replace the valve stems, ensure the lug nuts were all put back on, and ensure that I had a good seal…and use the right tires?  My purpose for taking in to Camping World in Calera was to get it road worthy.  At a cost of $2,586.27, you would think that I could have received sufficient and adequate work.  More on this later.

For the work to be done at Gamble’s, we decided to have the wheels sandblasted and powder coated black back to their original state.  They were heavy duty and worth keeping.  I would get 4 new tires installed.  I would also get a new wheel with a spare tire.  All of the tires would be ST rated tires (10 ply tires adequate for the RV and the turning motions).  I would get new valve stems, as well as replaced lug nuts.

Within a few short days, Sterling was ready to pick up, all safe and sound and ready to drive home!  Cost was $922.83.  Well worth every penny knowing it’s now safe to drive.

Now that I had the diagram for the towing connections (thanks to Glenn), I needed to figure out why my left blinker was causing the breaks to engage.  I took my connections with me to pick up Sterling from Gamble’s Automotive.  As a group effort, we determined that 2 wires were crossed up in the connector that I purchased from Amazon.  Mr. Gamble corrected it for me and we tested it out.  Works like a charm.  Well, my left blinker isn’t working, but the breaks don’t engage.  The left blinker issue could be wiring.  They said to bring it back over one day and they will check that out.  Who knew?  Right in my area and such great customer service on my RV when all I thought they serviced was cars and trucks.  They have a new customer who will sing their praises!  From the dad, to the son (Donnie), to the grandson (Trey)- they are wonderful people to do business with.

The 4 tires that Camping World installed were placed inside my RV and I’ll deal with them and my reimbursement.

BEFORE- rusty wheel with the wrong tire installed by Camping World.  Notice the missing lug nut and the old valve stem ready to fall off.IMG_7714

Dropped Sterling off for another set of tires and wheel work at Gamble’s Automotive.NMIMG_7715

New tires and refurbished wheels with new valve stems and replaced lug nuts.

NOTE:  There is only one bearing buddy because Camping World only installed one.  Go figure!  I’m very proud of the work that Gamble’s Automotive in Bessemer, AL did!  Great customer service and excellent work.  Very trustworthy!

Tanked Out

On April 7th, I left Sterling into the hands of “Glenn Camper Guy”, as he is listed in my phone.  We walked through the beloved Airstream to go over my wish list.  It was back to simply removing the black water tank and checking out my electrical (to make sure it was safe).  Hopefully, Glenn could figure out why my breaks would engage when I turned on my left blinker.  At $125 an hour, I had to be realistic on my needs and wants.

May 16th was the day for me to pick up my aluminum child.  When I arrived, I was greeted by the ‘helper’ and escorted to Glenn’s office.  I found Glenn moaning with pain.  What in the world happened?  He had been ran over by an Airstream- MY AIRSTREAM.  WHAT?  Something happened during the process of checking out the underneath and removing the tire jacks.  Not sure how it all went down, but I do know that Sterling rolled over his shoulder, arm, and torso just 45 minutes prior to me picking it up.  Poor Glenn was in misery but trying to be strong.  Even in his torment, he wanted to go over every detail of the repair.  He went to staple the detailed paperwork together and I thought he was going to pass out from the excruciating pain.  Right then, me and the helper talked him into calling his wife to go to the hospital.  I was able to get Sterling hooked up myself.  Proud moment here.

So, what was done for Sterling?  According to the hand written note:

  1.  Performed customer’s requested repairs and modifications as requested.  Cut away damage underbelly skin covering black tank.  Cut tank loose (already drug off to some extent) and finished removing.  Note:  Raised up coach on ramps and jack stands prior to starting repairs and did not lower until requested repairs completed.  Rolled over and crimped off black tank heat duct (no longer needed).  Secured cut area of under belly to steel cross member and sealed with undercoating.  Note:  Belly pan damage from dragging prior to this repair; therefore turned up and cut edge not perfectly smooth.  Note:  Bathroom plywood floor rotted and toilet not secured to floor.  Screwed coupling onto toilet flange and installed elbow.  Note:  Left rear frame rail bent @ original sewer hose connection.  However, since tank removed toilet needed a more direct path with only one elbow.  Repaired leaks in other original drain lines and connected them all together as necessary including vent pipe.  Note: Temporary hanger at rear at sewer hose connection; this should be changed when sewer hose bumper storage bay rebuilt.  Customer was explained this on the phone.  Tested toilet, both sinks, and shower drains when finished.  Put new sewer hose inside RV/trailer.  Currently no drains leak and operate properly.  Note:  Made no repairs to fresh/potable side of plumbing.  All drains ok at this time.
  2. Removed 15 amp wall outlet end from shoreline and installed new 30 amp RV end on shoreline.  Removed breaker panel cover and ohmed out shoreline end to breaker panel wiring; it passed.  Plugged into 30 amp RV service and all 120VAC base plugs have correct polarity.  Did not try any other 120VAC as per customer request.  New shoreline end and wall outlets are ok at this time.
  3. Ohmed out original Airstream 7-way (later customer stated there is a new 7-way but ARVS could not locate it in trailer and customer was informed of this on the phone).  Original 7-way ohmed out good and was put back in trailer.  Note:  Customer given old and new copies of 7-way wiring that does not appear exactly compatible.  Suggested to customer to take back to Camping World who she stated:  repaired brakes, replaced tires, and wired in 7-way with brake controller.  No repairs made.  Still the same at this time.

Glenn provided me a copy of the trailer car connector diagram, as well as a diagram of the 7 way connector diagram (color coded).

In addition to the repairs, Glenn filled me in (4/26/16 @5:20 pm) on a few key things as it relates to prior work by Camping World.  The new tires that had been installed in July 2016 (by Camping World of Calera) were put on where the tire type and size was not displayed.  The tires that I paid for were “P” tires.  These tires are typically passenger car tires or used for a light SUV.  LT tires are a Light Truck tire and typically used for SUV’s and pickups.  “ST” tires are a Special Trailer tire and are used for trailers only.  Glenn even went to the extent of calling Goodyear to see what they would suggest for my ’72 Airstream.  Carlton works in the Goodyear Technical Department.  He said NOT to use P-metric tires at all and LT tires are not recommended.  He said to put a correct ST tire on the trailer.  Glenn provided this in writing with Carlton’s number- 800-321-2136.  This conversation took place on 5/2/16 at 3:50 pm.  I’m very thankful for all of these detailed notes from Glenn.

Along with the notes about the tires, Glenn provided a printout from Tire Rack Tire Tech about Trailer Tires vs Passenger Vehicle Tires.

All in all, I paid $1858.41 for the repairs from Glenn at Alabama RV Shop in Adamsville, AL. I highly recommend him for his honesty and thorough work.  You can reach him at 205.637.3272.  The knowledge he provided to me about my prior work with Camping World is invaluable.  There were many ‘sloppy’ things done (such as hanging wires related to break, axle, and bearing work.  This isn’t the end with Camping World!IMG_7711 (2).JPG

Publicly Exposed!

Over 86% of cancer is caused by environmental factors that WE bring on ourselves and to our family.  These include tobacco smoke, poor nutrition, physical activity, environmental carcinogens, etc.  This means that only 14% of cancer is hereditary.  We tend to believe that because our grandparents had it, we will get it.  It’s just ‘in our blood’.  It may be in your blood, but who put it there is the real question!

I am not one to dwell on regrets, but I do have one that’s been weighing on my mind a lot lately!  I don’t know about you, but I regret not providing a toxic free home to my children (those sweet male humans of my flesh and blood that I love more than life itself).  I regret not reading the thousands of labels (that I purchased with my hard earned money) to see just how many carcinogens were included….you know, the ingredients that the FDA approved as acceptable and I agreed it was okay to consume.  It’s my fault!  I exposed them to such horrible toxins.  I even went to the extent of rewarding them with trips to get fast food, all laden with ‘oses’ and ‘phates’ and ‘lates’ (and this is not a coffee from Starbucks).  Those ingredients that are not raised or grown.  God didn’t provide any of those ingredients in Day 1 through 6.  Just sayin’.

We tend to go through life accepting what is before us without question.  We wait until we are sick and then we depend on the doctor to fix us up.  We again get into a robot mentality and take the shot then buy the prescriptions (again with our hard earned money), all without question.  It’s approved by the regulating bodies of the Federal government, so it should be okay, right?  WRONG.

When you realize that there is truly a better way of living, you get fed up enough to take action.  You take responsibility and become proactive.  You don’t accept the norm.  You stop making fun of all of the tree huggers and don’t mind being called a naturalist, environmentalist, or hippy yourself.  Call me green, or any other color, I don’t care.

At some point in your life, you have to realize that everything you do has consequences, good or bad.  When you take a bite of food, it helps or hurts your body.  There is no middle ground.  If you can’t pronounce it (or event attempt to memorize the spelling), it’s a good chance that it’s not good for you.  I admit, I sometimes forget if tomato has an ‘e’ on the end or not. Thank goodness for spell check. But I do recognize the fruit/veggie and know who created it.  It wasn’t in a lab.

You work hard.  It’s only fair that you are healthy enough to play hard.  Don’t wait till you are 80 years old and realize that your life is gone to pot with poor health, stress, and ‘living life to the fullest’ was just a dream that never came true.   You do have a choice.  Every dime you hand over to the cashier is paying for choices you made while pushing that germy buggy around.  Stay out of the aisles.  Buy fresh veggies that are organic.  If not organic, wash them well!  Buy local.  Buy fresh meat or lean on your local hunters to help fill the freezer.  Farm.  Dirt don’t hurt.

You eat ‘clean’ already?  Great!  What about your laundry products?  Beauty products?  Start reading every label on every product you use in one day.  You just might be surprised to find that YOU are risking your life and that of your family to exposure to cancer.  When that soap and shampoo runs down your backside, you don’t think that it’s getting into your blood stream?  You do know that your skin is very permeable, right?  Download the app EWG and scan your products to see the toxicity level yourself.   You can also visit their website here.

Hormonal?  Think it’s just because you are aging?  Why is your daughter starting her cycle so early in life?  Toxins are endocrine disrupters.  We bring this on ourselves and to our family (those we love dearly).  Why?  Are we lazy, or just don’t care?  Maybe we just didn’t know.  Now you do!

It can be a lot to purge from your home, but you have a choice to make good choices starting today.  Start with one area and work your way through the house.  Throw away all of the plugins.  That’s an easy start.  I don’t know about you, but every time I went to throw away a toxin laden product, all I saw was money in the trash can.  But you know what, it was one less toxin that could cause cancer within me.  I was raising the bar and and reducing my chances of facing that nasty disease.  I could make a good choice and spend my money on safe products.  Buying safe products does not have to be expensive.  Again, it’s just making good choices.

Start today!  In a year from now, you’ll be glad you did.  No regrets.

Here are a few videos of how to make toxic-free products that are less expensive than the standard toxic filled products in the stores:

I’d love to help you make a change for future with wellness in mind.  It’s all about prevention!  Living life to the fullest can be a dream come true!  Now wake up and get busy!

Visit my website for more information!