Thursday, March 15, 2012



Jenkins, KY

Another Beautiful Bahama Sunset at Big Majors Anchorage - 2006

For those who are familiar with cruising in a sailboat, you have all heard the definition of cruising as "boat maintenance in exotic locations".....well, there is a lot of truth in that rather 'tongue-in-cheek' definition. There is a lot of maintenance to be done on a sailboat; both preventive, or scheduled, maintenance and  unscheduled (i.e., fixing things that break) maintenance.  The further south you get the more direct the sun becomes and it can be pretty harsh on all things marine that are exposed to it......canvas, sails, fiberglass on decks, teak, etc.  When you combine that with the salfwater and the rust it can cause on all things metal, you have your hands full with maintenance.  Cruising is still a wonderful, full, rewarding, and peaceful's just not all-the-time-umbrella-drinks-in-paradise easy.  

To take that a step further and apply it to RV is "motor home maintenance in non-exotice places", like Ft Stockton, TX for example.   Because the distances that we travel (from TN to W. TX) on a regular basis is so great, we have a lot of preventive maintenance that we have to do.....mostly in the form of oil and filter changes, air cleaner changes, brake pad replacement, etc.  Add to that, to a lesser degree, the maintenance on the other systems (fresh water, generator, propane, etc.), and you have a lot of things that you have to do, or you have to pay for someone else to do them.  Having limited resources (i.e., still working for a living) I choose to do most of these things myself when possible. 

One reason for doing it myself is the obvious........savings; the other reason is if I do it myself I know it is done correctly.  I recently paid a local Knoxville Ford dealership (I can't even remember the darn name of the dealership right now....repression is the phenomenon, I think.  Your mind tends to repress those experiences that are irritating or 'unpleasant'.  It's probably a good thing for my blood pressure) to rotate and balance my tires.  Not only did they incorrectly rotate them, but during the process one of my tires just "decided" to explode while the vehicle sat on their lot after the road test.  Yeah, right.  My dog ate my homework quite frequently when I was 8 years old too.  According to them, they were totally not at was just bad luck.  I told them it was their bad luck since they had possession of the vehicle and it was in their care.  The tires had 18k miles on them....75% of the tread was still  remaining.  They had all kinds of BS excuses and rational that they threw out there as the reason it happened.  (You ever heard of throwing stuff on a wall and seeing what will stick?)  I doubt that I will ever get any monetary reimbursement, but they will never see my face in their place of business again, and if you value your hard earned money, they won't see yours either. There is a lot more to this story and it all paints them in a very bad light, but my blood is beginning to boil just recalling the experience, so I will stop.    

Oh, and I just remembered the dealership.....Ted Russell Ford, Parkside Drive, in Knoxville.  If you ever think about taking a vehicle there for service, take a deep breath and RUN..... RUN as far away as possible.

Be careful, there is a lot of STUPID out there....and you know you can't fix STUPID.

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