Wednesday, June 20, 2007

In today's episode...

This is beginning to sound like a soap opera. Since I don't want to leave my readers hanging, I will tell you some good news.

I went to the DMV and told a very nice woman about what happened. The man I purchased the RV from never registered it in his own name. It had been smogged in September 2006 and the registration is good until October 2007. Whatever happened to the missing tailpipe must have occurred after the owners sold it on eBay. The woman started the paperwork and accepted everything I had downloaded and printed from their website including the bill of sale. Now I have 30 days to have the RV smogged, and return to the DMV to pay the taxes and fees. I'm leaving on July 3 or 4 so that gives me two weeks to have everything done.

The refrigerator works on electric. The water pump works. The new microwave works.

Tomorrow morning, a gentleman who owns a company with a crew who cleans and waxes RVs will remove the remains (nest, droppings) of the previous rodent residents, clean the cabinets and drawers, and shampoo the carpet. My friend Andrea and I will purchase curtains and bedding on Friday. The bedroom has three windows: one has a broken blind, one has a sheet over it and the third has neither curtain nor curtain rod. We will move everything to the new RV. Meanwhile, my friend Rick will install a new ignition switch so I don't have to worry about the only plastic key snapping off in the lock. Then I'll find a muffler/tailpipe shop that can handle an RV to install the tailpipe I need. After that, the smog inspection.

When everything necessary is completed, I will drive the RV locally to be sure the gas filter problem has been solved. It's definitely time to have some fun!


  1. Your trust in your fellow man in this day and age is truly Angelic. Especially in the realm of motor vehicle sales which brings out the worst in all of us... You should keep the money in your pocket until the last act... Be prepared to spend most of a day checking out all functions of the RV... First have the engine and running gear inspected by an independent, qualified third party... Look for signs of leaks on the ceiling, be shown in person that each and every function on the appliances work in all power modes... Have the seller repair to your satisfaction, at his expense all items not specified as wrong in the ad... I suspect ebay has protection for sales of lemon autos and I have found them very, very anxious to eliminate unethical sellers.
    Good Luck, Ken

  2. Thanks for the words of wisdom, Ken. I did spend several hours examining everything I thought I knew about an RV over the last 27 years. I had the seller show me the batteries, 12 volt system, electrical system, water pump, propane, appliances, roof, doors, windows, engine, etc. Now I know if I ever purchase another RV, I will be sure to ask if there is a tailpipe.

    I have only my own stupidity to blame. I told my story as a warning to others that ignorance is NOT bliss. It is expensive, painful and frustrating. As Socrates said, "I only know that I know not."

  3. Didn't you go for a test drive before buying this RV? I would think the problem with the tailpipe would have shown up then.

  4. Unfortunately, I waited for my mechanic's schedule to coordinate with the seller's (and mine). That never happened. I had confirmed the date to pay for it and pick it up, and I kept my word. My schedule has me on a 3-week road trip, and I planned on tweaking the new RV and taking it on a couple of local trips to get the feel of it.

    I did feel comfortable driving it in the city and through the neighborhoods, and even made a U-turn as I wrote. I filled it with gas and spilled a little--again, I didn't think more than "Oops. I'll be more careful next time." It wasn't until I reached freeway speed for more than a few miles that the problem happened.

    The good news is that all three gentlemen who did the examination and evaluation said there is nothing that is not repairable. They have offered to help when they are able to after their shift.

    So lessons learned: check everything. Look under, over and around the RV. Have the seller show you how to operate everything and then operate everything. Bring a mechanic or two. Bring a witness for all transactions. Drive the RV for at least 20-30 miles at all speeds.

    I watched Chuck's DVD on How to Buy an RV, relied on years of RV experience, and and still made a stupid mistake. Please learn from my experience so you're not hurt.