It was the end of our second week as full time campers, when I made the call to the RV repair service. We were concerned about the refrigerator not getting cold enough. The service man, Bill, came within the hour and started taking panels off and checking wires. Everything looked good and then he asked me if I noticed anything unusual in the coach. I remembered a metal box located in a compartment under the left front of the coach that was warm to the touch and was giving off a strange odor. After taking the cover plate off the box he said to cut the electric to the RV. The wires were shorting out and we were very close to having a fire. While Bill was replacing the defective electric panel I noticed some dark storm clouds coming towards us and the wind picking up. Nancy and I were standing in the living room area of the coach, watching Bill pull away in his truck, when we heard a loud cracking sound. I turned to my left to look out our side window and saw the giant tree that stood next to the camper lying on the ground. It had fallen away from the camper. We both looked at each other. Was this an omen?

Fortunately, we chose to stay the course. Our winter in Florida was problem free. We were busy visiting our Florida friends and celebrating the various holidays. With spring. came the planning for the return trip to PA. Nancy makes the reservations for the campgrounds and I check the camper for any possible problems. The trip started the second week of May. We wanted to reach PA before Memorial Day. The weather was cool and sunny and the roads were not too busy. I was beginning to feel really good when I noticed a red light flashing on the dashboard panel and the word warning also lit up. A Pilot gas station was just ahead so I pulled in and found a parking area. After pulling in I turned off the engine climbed out and headed for the back of the coach. The compartment where the batteries were stored was giving off a strong odor and the door was hot to touch. When I looked in, I could see the front two batteries smoking and bulging out. Our road service rep gave us the name of a local repair service which we called. The mechanic, whose name was Mike, asked some questions and told me to take a picture of the batteries and send them to his phone. He was going to stop by his shop on his way to us to pickup replacement batteries. Mike replaced the batteries and then gave us the bad news. He knew what the problem was but he would not be able to fix it himself. We would have to find a local repair shop to do the work. Mike started making phone calls and talking to various service people. It was close to two hours before he finally found one that agreed to do the work. When he gave us his bill I could see that there was no charge for all his time finding that repair shop. We thanked him for his special efforts and he said he likes to help people.

The repair shop was about twenty miles down the road and we got there about 6:00 PM. The service manager told us we needed a alternator for the engine and he would start trying to locate one. The next day was Friday and Monday was a holiday. If he was unable to get the part by tomorrow, we would be there till Tuesday which was the day of our grandson’s high school graduation in Pennsylvania. The service manager offered to let us stay there overnight and even allowed us to plug in the coach. He personally went and got some ice for us. He knew we needed to leave Friday to make the graduation. So when he came to the coach the next morning, he had a big smile on his face. He brought news that they had found a part and if all went well, we could leave that afternoon. When we got the bill I noticed it was much less than the original estimate. I asked why the difference and the lady smiled and said, “The boss gave you a little break!” She then handed us two bags full of coffee cups, note pads, pens and other great little items. Both Nancy and I felt as we drove down the road that good people and good luck were traveling with us.

Contributed by: Joe Helveston

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