Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Breaking Our Bed

No, this isn't about a wild night.  This is about another example of poor shoddy workmanship on the part of Heartland RV.

Monday afternoon we were thrilled pulling into our current campground in Cottonwood, AZ; 300 acres in the desert with sweeping vistas of distant mesas and red rock surrounded us.  It took Denny a couple of tries to back up since he had to do it from the right (it's easier to back in from the left because you can see the side of your rig, your navigator and how the tail end is turning from your side mirror) but we finally got backed in and unhitched.  It's at that point that I go inside to open out the slideouts and start putting our possessions back into place.

I noticed that the bedroom slide moved out slowly, but assumed it was because we were running on battery power and that the battery was down a bit.  But the two living room slides went out normally so I went into the bedroom to see what might be wrong and that's when my heart fell into my stomach.  Our bed normally sits at a right angle to the front of the rig; it was now sitting at a 45 degree angle.  I tried moving the slide back in a bit, but had to stop because the bed didn't straighten out and was going to hit the dresser.  Sh*t, sh*t, sh*t.

Naturally, this is the last thing I want to tell Denny since he was still upset about not getting the rig into the campsite on his first try (it's a man thing).  So I waited until he got the two satellite dishes set up and operating (that went easily, yay!)  We had to wrassle (that's an Ohio word) the king sized mattress off the bed platform and out of the bedroom (imagine trying to get a 72 inch mattress off the bed with a 62 inch clearance), and then remove the hinged plywood panel that covers the platform, which is the RVers version of a box spring.  That's when we saw that an electrical junction box fastened to the floor had been poorly secured so that when it worked itself loose, the bed base snagged on it while moving out with the slide which caused the bed to rip itself loose from its moorings.  

The solution was to hammer out and break off the bent screws (which of course, the installers had stripped), run to Home Depot for more long screws, back to reposition the incredibly heavy bed base and drill new holes for the new screws, cut out the carpet and pad underneath the junction box and re-secure the box to the floor, screw the bed frame back into the floor, gingerly test the slide to make sure the bed passed safely over the junction box, remove and reposition the plywood platform and the hydraulic mattress lifts and wrassle that darned mattress back onto the bed.  We once again tested the slide and watched with relief to see the bed move freely and in the proper direction, but discovered that the slideout wall now does not open all the way. Crap!  By then the Heartland factory and our dealer's office back in Indiana was closed, so I had to wait until yesterday morning to call and try to troubleshoot over the phone.  The general consensus is that the stop bar got messed up and that will be a fairly simple matter to adjust once we get to Albuquerque where there is an authorized Heartland dealer.  

So thank goodness for good cell phone reception, a fix up on our part that went well, and finding a dealer close to our next campground and Denny's sister so we can take the cat and visit while they are dealing with whatever repairs we will end up needing. 

But we're not getting much of anything else done while we're here!


Paul and Mary said...

Oh my! What an ordeal. That can be life in a new rig. Thankfully, it's all under warranty!

How long will you be in Cottonwood? We're heading that way on Monday and will stay in Camp Verde, Cottonwood or Sedona. It would sure be fun to meet ya!

Sleep well!

Linda and Denny/RV Vagabonds said...

Mary, We were going to be leaving on Monday, but after checking the weather in Gallup, NM, our next stop, I decided to extend our stay here by 6 days. Nothing but thunderstorms and even a bit of snow forecast for the Red Rock State Park area east of Gallup and we're not interested in that!

So we'll meet up with you next week, okay?

Sam&Donna Weibel said...

Wow, what a bummer,now I know why Sam passed on the bedroom slide and went with the queen size lenghth wise bed, even with big Sam and skinny me we have plenty of room, and the rest of the 5th wheel was nicer with the arrangement we bought. Hope all goes well for you guys at the dealer. Be safe out there , Sam & Donna

Paul and Mary said...

Too bad about the weather, but good for us!
Email me at rvescapees(at)
We look forward to hooking up with you!

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