We admit that in the world of RV knowledge, we are learning something new every day. So the first time our RV needed to be towed, we were a bit jittery. It turns out…for good reason.
Because we lived in a community that did not allow long-term storage of motorhomes on your property, Olga was kept at an off-site storage facility. We would visit her once a month to turn on the engine, run the generator and tell her we loved her. On one of these occasions, on July 12 to be exact, Olga didn’t turn over.
We were fairly sure that it wasn’t the battery, as the dash lights illuminated, the radio played and even the air conditioner came on. But mechanics, we are not. We called the Mercedes-Benz dealer who performed Olga’s annual oil change and maintenance, and they suggested we call Mercedes-Benz roadside assistance.
Mercedes-Benz Roadside Assistance
As we were still under warranty, Mercedes-Benz quickly dispatched a technician for no charge. It turned out he was the “jump the battery” guy. As suspected this did not solve the problem so a second call was made. The Mercedes-Benz dispatcher gathered information on the RV’s height and weight and within 90 minutes a flat-bed tow truck arrived.
The gentlemen (we would rather refer to him as “the good ol’ boy” but are trying to be kind) that arrived asked where our husband was. Of course, not wanting to prolong the agony, we told him he was at work. He looked over Olga and decided he didn’t want to put her on the flat-bed. She was too tall. We explained that we had mapped the route to the dealership and he could travel under any of the overpasses he might encounter on I-75, but he wouldn’t agree. “Anyway, I need to go get some tools to release the drive chain…I’ll be back.”
About 90 minutes later, he arrived with a tow truck. While waiting, Denise had called Renegade for instructions on releasing the drive-train and was told tools were not required. A small button, located near the emergency brake would do the job.
Seems a Bit Low
As he was about to pull out, with Olga in tow, Denise noted that she was riding pretty low in the back. “Aren’t you concerned that she might bottom out if you hit a pothole or dip in the road?” We got the “why I am talking to you dumb women” look as he mumbled something under his breath.
Olga was at the dealer for nearly a week. It turned out the problem was intermittent and of course did not occur the first few times they tried. But finally, the cause of the problem (a faulty fuel injector switch) was located. They kept her a few more days, starting her periodically to ensure this was the only problem. When we picked her up on July 18th, we were confident all was well and we could proceed on our trip to Indiana that was planned a few days later.
I brought Olga home as we would be prepping her for the trip…that is when I saw it.
The rear bumper had indeed scraped along the ground as she was towed to Gainesville (a 50-mile journey). I called the dealership immediately and learned that they had noted the damage and taken pictures when the RV arrived. For whatever reason, they had forgotten to mention it to me when I picked her up.
Mercedes-Benz vs The Towing Company
As I was talking to the dealer, Denise was calling the towing company. The dealer told me to call roadside assistance immediately. The towing company told Denise to go pound sand.
“This”, they said, “was a risk you take when you have your RV towed….call your insurance company, as we don’t accept liability.”
The Mercedes-Benz roadside assistance person was far more concerned and accommodating. We were told not to call our insurance company or the towing company again. Within 48 hours a person would be assigned to the case. She did indeed call two days later and requested photos. We sent her photos we had taken and asked the dealer to also send theirs.
Making a Long Story Shorter
It took seven weeks to finally resolve the liability issue. It required an independent insurance assessor to confirm that we had not caused the problem by performing wheelies in a campground. Frankly, we still don’t know who is paying for the repair. We just know we aren’t. During those seven weeks, the agent that was assigned to our case took another job. So we spent two days tracking down her manager, who ultimately resolved the situation 10 days later.
Of course, during the seven weeks, we had time to get an estimate for the repair. The first estimate ($4941) would include fiberglass work and paint. We called Renegade and learned their cost for a new bumper was $500…so we got a second estimate (from the same shop) asking them to use a new bumper. It turned out that was less ($4450). Of course, while the bumper was being shipped to Florida, Hurricane Irma caused UPS to suspend all deliveries. But that’s another story. On September 26th, Olga was returned to us better than new.