Friday, July 3, 2015

Repelling the Disaster Kitty

Our first week back in the GPNW required another outlay of time to attend to our possessions.  Sometimes I feel like they own us, rather than the other way around.  Here are two hints as to what's been happening.
Bikes in the kitchen (and not in the truck).

A rental car.

Give up?  It's the wretched base plates again.  As you all no doubt recall, in April the base plates were ripped from the frame rails of the truck.  To refresh your memory, you may go here.  It was taken to a collision center in Tucson, where they torched off the front section of the frame rails and replaced them.  They then installed new base plates.  We spent some time with the collision repair folks discussing possible explanations for this failure.  They believed that the original installers had failed to use red Locktite, which allowed the bolts to become loose.
When we arrived in Issaquah on Saturday, the driver's side base plate was once again loose.  We took it back to Progressive who delivered it to yet another collision repair shop.  After they had it for a short while, we were contacted by a Progressive middle-person who told us the bolts had been re-tightened and all was well.  No, all is not well.  With the application of red Locktite and the additional stop nuts that were applied in Tucson, there is no way on earth those bolts could be loose in this amount of time. Further, the shop had done zero root cause analysis as to why this was happening.
We inserted ourselves into the process, talked to the shop, explained how a loose bolt was a NEVER event, and that it would be the first in a series of cascading failures that would result in the base plate being pulled out of the frame rail again.  We also inquired as to whether they had been supplied with the proper torque settings from the installation guide.  Why no, no they had not.  They're a collision center, they are not familiar with towing equipment.

The Seattle collision center reported that the collision center in Tucson did not use the red Locktite. 

So, our takeaway from this is that one must exercise constant vigilance when one is having an RV specific item repaired at a non-RV shop.  I would have preferred to have it taken to a place that actually installs Blue Ox, but in order to benefit from Progressive's guarantee on repairs, you have to stay within their repair network.
Jim has visually inspected the bolts and verified that there is indeed, red Locktite on the bolts.  If this happens again, I think we're going to switch out to a Roadmaster towing system.

We went into Bellevue yesterday to see our favorite dermatologist.  I got zapped once on the forehead with liquid nitrogen.  Jim looks like someone went after him with a cheese grater.  Their building is not air conditioned, and the doctor was spraying himself (at a distance) with liquid nitrogen for cooling.
The building in Bellevue continues.  High density housing is being added everywhere.  New roads are not.

We are spending this very hot afternoon waiting for a mobile RV tech to arrive and measure us for a new window shade for the hot side of the bus.  When we got here the little loop that you use to pull it down and attach it to the side of the RV snapped off.  It's old, we probably should have replaced the shade when we did the slide toppers.
Other than dinner with friends and family, early morning walking and marveling at the traffic volumes, I have nothing more to report.

Update to post:  Yesterday they replaced our grade 5 nuts and bolts with grade 8s.  We just looked at the removed grade 5s, and there appears to be red stuff on the threads.  At this point, we can't construct a coherent theory for what is happening under there.


  1. Oh my, will your vehicle woes never end???!!!! I guess it's good that you are stationary for a while to take care of all this stuff. I can't believe the heat you are getting so early in the summer up there!

  2. So glad you arrived safely despite the new problems. Sure hope all is repaired correctly this time. Enjoy WA!!