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Old 02-26-2005, 02:18 AM   #1
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Repairs on the road

I thought I might relate this incident, since it could happen to anyone who has a problem with a warrantied appliance (furnace, fridge, A/C) needing repair while camping. We purchased a new AS 28' CCD last Wednesday, loaded it up on Thursday, then headed out for a SP CG on the Oregon coast 60 miles away to give it a test drive. The Atwood furnace worked at the dealer on walk-through and during loading the next day. However, on arrival at the CG, it would'nt work. I called the dealer svc dept to see if there was anything I could do over the phone to trouble-shoot the problem. After trying several things without success, my choices were to packup and head home, purchase a space heater and tough it out, or call a service tech to see if they could fix it. I called a service tech recommended by the CG (they had his business cards), who was only about a mile away from us. He couldn't come until the next afternoon late. So we purchased a space heater and stayed pretty comfy overnight (temps in low 40's) . We were only staying one more night, so we could have waited to have repairs done after the weekend. I just needed to haul it 45 miles from home to the dealer. The service tech showed up at the CG for the service call and started trouble shooting the furnace. I asked him during the inspection if he was certified to work on Atwood furnaces. He said he was RVIA certified (FWIW), so I let him continue on. He found a bad connection in some wiring to the furnace fan, and said he had to remove a wire coupling and by-pass the coupling. At the time I didn't think it would have any ramification on the furnace warranty. After all, what he did worked, and we had heat. When I got home I called Atwood to report the problem. They asked me to email pics of the repairs. I got a call back from Atwood the next day saying the svc tech really messed the furnace up and in turn voided the warranty on the furnace. The svc tech was not a certified Atwood technician, but RVIA techs can make repairs on Atwood furnaces. Atwood also said that if the tech was certain of his repairs, he would have submitted the claim directly to Atwood to be reimbursed for the warranty repair. I called the AS dealer svc dept (non-Atwood certified) to tell them the scenario and sent them the same pics. They went to bat for me and told me they should be able to re-wire the furnace fan and try to re-instate the warranty on the furnace. They've ordered the parts, a new wiring harness for the fan (offered to me free from Atwood) and will call me when they arrive.
The bottom line of questions to ask (hindsight).........
1) Does the repair HAVE to be made NOW? If not, wait until you can return it to your dealer svc dept, or authorized svc dept.
2) If the repair is on a warrantied appliance and the tech is certain that what they did was correct to solve the problem, they should submit the bill to the manufacturer for payment, not to you.
3) Ask the svc tech if the repair he is doing will impact the warranty in any way.

I am already out $85 for this repair ($35 for svc call + $50 repair)....and I'll probably have to pay the AS dealer svc dept for time to correct the wrong done by the svc tech in the first place! We'll see what develops. In addition, I don't know how it will ultimately impact the warranty, as I sent Atwood the model and serial #'s regarding my problem.
Some of you may have been in the same situation at one time or another with your AS and handled it much better than I did!

Jim
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Old 02-26-2005, 02:45 AM   #2
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Jim,
Thanks for sharing your unfortunate situation~
Quote:
He found a bad connection in some wiring to the furnace fan, and said he had to remove a wire coupling and by-pass the coupling.
This begs a Question~
Were you ever able to find out why it worked at the dealer's walk through and, then later fail while on your maiden trip? "Bad connection" doesn't seem to make much sense here, unless it was something that came loose while traveling?
As you've found out, it alway pays first to contact the warranty center for pre-approval for all warranties issue relate repairs, and to make real sure who ever is doing the work won't void your warranties.
I did a quick search on google and found this outfit in your area..(?)
http://www.mobilervrepair.com/service.htm
Might be a good idea to keep their number on hand..
Let's hope that this is the last wrinkle you'll have with your new Airstream.
ciao
53FC
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Old 02-26-2005, 07:08 AM   #3
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Without seeing what was actually done I think Atwood might be a little picky. It sounds like the tech removed a connector to hardwire the fan. It might not be plug and play now, but an emergency repair. I would ask other than aesthetics what the real problem is.

If you dealer is not Atwood certified I wouldn't hold out a lot of hope that by changing out the harness the warranty will be reinstated. Check with Atwood and see what they say, but it seems you will be compounding the problem if you have another non certified tech do the work to get it back to the standard Atwood wants to reinstate the warranty.

John
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Old 02-26-2005, 10:36 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 74Argosy24MH
Without seeing what was actually done I think Atwood might be a little picky. It sounds like the tech removed a connector to hardwire the fan. It might not be plug and play now, but an emergency repair. I would ask other than aesthetics what the real problem is.

If you dealer is not Atwood certified I wouldn't hold out a lot of hope that by changing out the harness the warranty will be reinstated. Check with Atwood and see what they say, but it seems you will be compounding the problem if you have another non certified tech do the work to get it back to the standard Atwood wants to reinstate the warranty.

John
Yes, I would really like to know what the original problem was too. Geo. M. Sutton RV svc dept contacted Atwood direct and talked to the same manfacturer rep I did, so we're both on the same wavelength. I hope they can troubleshoot the original problem. They will do what Atwood asks them to do to get the wiring to its previous configuration to reinstate the warranty. I have faith that they will do it right, because I've had other warranty work done by them on my previous AS. I'd prefer to not bring into the picture another svc tech (Atwood certified or not) at this point. Only if GMSRV says they cannot solve the problem.

I'm inserting some pics of the wire connector the svc tech removed to enable the "initial repair". Before I knew what he was doing to my furnace, he had removed this connector and was hard-wiring things together!
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Old 02-26-2005, 08:54 PM   #5
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It looks like the field service guy you hired did what needed to be done to get you going. There are a zillion of different connectors out there, and the field service fellow can’t carry every one with him. He did exactly what I would have done if the connector was the problem. Atwood shouldn’t get their nickers in a twist and just get it repaired the way they engineered it originally, after all it was their fault it failed. I have watched factory trained service people screw things up more times than I care to mention. Most of the time the factory will give you the parts, instructions and technical help to repair the problem and you still will have your warranty. You maybe out your cost for your labor but you have a better knowledge of how your appliance works. Anyway, good luck on getting things worked out. You will still have your warranty.
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