2010 Travels travel blog

Carpe at Freightliner Service Center
Freightliner provides electric hookups for service customers

Freightliner Factory Service Center
Gaffney, SC factory service facility provides exceptiional service

I-85 east of Atlanta
Atlanta expressways at 9 A.M. on Sunday were tolerable

Jon, Dorothy & Us
A drive to Winston Salem to visit dear friend...

Beacon Drive Inn, Spartanberg, SC
Famous for their fries and Pork Sandwich-A-Plenty we...

Carpe backs out of shop
Two days of service and we're on the...

Sun, 22 Aug: A very easy 170 mile drive took us from Norcross (east of Atlanta) to Gaffney. We were on I-85 the entire trip, which was not too busy on this Sunday morning. Even Atlanta's expressway was tolerably empty (see pix), albeit the Driver Insanity Index (DII) was typically high...

We arrived at the Freightiner Factory Service Center a few minutes after noon and found a nice spot with 50 ampere power to run the air conditioners. The thermometer temperature is about 88ºF., but the heat index is 106º. No shade trees here, just a parking lot and power posts. Seems as though they're having a service special for Tiffins since almost every coach is an Allegro Bus. Did we take a wrong turn and end up at the Tiffin factory?

We'll be here a minimum of two days having a major preventative maintenance program performed on Carpe. Tomorrow, while Carpe is in the shop, we're planning a car drive to Winston-Salem to visit with dear Maui friend Jon Burkhart. Looking forward to spending time with a very special person.

Mon, 23 Aug: At 7:45 sharp we queued up for service at the Freightliner Factory Service Center. Since we had an appointment, Carpe was whisked away for her first day of "pampering", a.k.a. a three year checkup. She'll be in the shop all day today and tomorrow while they crawl over her checking every bolt, wire, hose, etc. and change all her vital fluids, filters, and such. When finished she'll be good to go, and we'll be significantly poorer (she takes 24 quarts of oil at $$$$/quart...)

As soon as Carpe disappeared into the shop we jumped in the car and headed for Winston Salem. We arrived shortly after eleven, and met Jon at 11:30 as planned. It was sooo good to see him looking so well and we immediately started catching up. We had lunch in the cafeteria and was joined by his sister who also resides in the Arbor Acres facility. All too soon we had to split as Jon is one busy retired guy...

We returned to Gaffney about 4:45, and Carpe was waiting for us in her overnite parking spot. Freightliner does a nice thing here, when your coach is pulled out of a spot it is marked "reserved" so it isn't taken. That way you have the same spot for the entire stay.

Tue, 24 Aug: Up early and at eight sharp Sterling arrived to take Carpe in for day two. He assured us that the service was going well and they had not found anything of consequence. We ran some errands and, at 10:30 took the Freightliner Custom Chassis factory tour. We took it last year, but business was so bad that most of the lines, including the RV line, were shut down. Thankfully this year was different and we got to watch RV chassis' being built from start to finish. A fascinating tour.

We drove to Spartanburg for lunch at the Beacon Drive Inn, famed in Stern's book for having the very best french fries in the country. They are also renowned for their sweet ice tea, but we can't abide that stuff so we passed. Anyway, we had their pork and beef sandwiches "A-Plenty", which included a sandwich of BBQ meat smothered in fries and fried onion rings. Neither of us could finish so half of it is in the fridge.

After lunch we returned to the service center and waited in the lounge. About 3:30 they advised us Carpe was ready for a test drive. Sandi did the honors with a quick run on I-85 to check her handling. We'd asked them to check the alignment as she was pulling to the right and also to check the brakes as it seemed to take a lot of brake pressure to stop. Well, the alignment was successful, and in checking out the brake issue they found a kinked air supply line, which was replaced under warranty. Now when the brake pedal is pressed, she stops!!! Poor Bob is still pondering his pending rendezvous with the windshield (but he was bucked in!)

They found a number of issues, all of which were corrected under warranty. We have a high level of confidence that all is right and we'll enjoy trouble-free cruising for many miles. These folks know what they're doing and, the final bill was less than their estimate.

Tomorrow we hit the road heading for the coast...

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