Friday, January 16, 2015

Servicing Phaeth

Wednesday we broke camp at the KOA in Fort Mill, SC and drove an hour to Gaffney, SC.  Gaffney is where Phaeth was conceived, you might say.  There is a large Freightliner plant here where all the Freightliner chassis for class A and class super C motorhomes are built.  The chassis consists of the wheels, tires, chassis frame, brakes, the Onan generator, Cummins engine, chassis batteries, alternator, fuel tank, Allison transmission, steering wheel and dash gauges. Everything that makes the motorhome go. These are then shipped to the motorhome manufacturers like Tiffin, Winnebago, Forest River, Thor, Fleetwood and others. Freightliner is the "motor" part of the word "motorhome" and Tiffin is the "home" part of the word.
We are the second from the right.  We semi-boondocked here Wednesday night in the Freightliner back lot.  Freightliner provided electricity but no water or sewer hook-ups.  We used our tanks.

"Be ready at 8 o'clock". That's when they began work Thursday morning to finish the servicing job. That is a bit early for us retired folks. It was a gray, foggy, frosty morning that greeted our yawns.

And at 8 sharp they took Phaeth back into the work bay.


Gaffney is where Freightliner operates its best service center.  They do a lot of training here, too.  A motorhome owner can come here and Freightliner will give then a thorough education on how his/her motorhome operates but mostly they service the chassis portion of the motorhome. This is not really a process for a shade tree mechanic and needs to be done by people who specialize in this heavy duty equipment. Putting one of these 30,000 + pound behemoths up on a lift requires some heavy duty equipment. So, yes, it costs more than servicing your automobile.

However, diesels are designed for the "long haul".  Phaeth takes 23 quarts of oil but turns a little more than half the RPMs your car does so we don't need servicing again for about 15,000 miles.  We will probably put about 10,000 on her by this time next year.

Lobo and Juniper waited not-quite-so-patiently.

We spent most of  the time in Freightliner's customer service lounge.  Joanie did a little shopping in Gaffney at the Belk department store.  Joanie got us both some new socks and a couple pair of pants for me.  I am "hard on my clothes", I am told.  We threw out the same number of old pants and socks so we don't accumulate "stuff".

This is Sharon who shared the waiting area with us at Freightliner.  We shared full-timer stories, too.  She patiently waited on her husband who was taking an all-day educational class.

Since this was the first service we have had done since purchasing Phaeth and because we were not sure what all the previous owner had done to her, we decided to do a thorough job of it and include generator servicing and get her weighed and tire pressures adjusted.

They started Wednesday about 1 PM and we got Phaeth back about 4:30 so we could eat and sleep.  They would finish Thursday about 1 PM. We hooked up Hope then drove to Lexington, SC where we are now.

Because Lobo and Juniper don't wait quite as patiently as humans, we went out for a couple of extended walks around the facility.  We came across this big old tree... 
 
... which, upon the type of close examination that dogs will give trees, ...

... we found barbed wire.  A long time ago a farmer had used the sapling as a fence post and the tree assimilated the wire which runs directly through the middle of the tree.




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