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Tuesday, May 20, 2014

RV #3 !

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Hi from upstate NY!
Herman and I took the plunge about a month ago and bought a used 2011 Tiffin Allegro Breeze 28Br, class a, diesel pusher. We're the 3rd owners. The 1st owners from Florida put 11k miles on it. Then, they sold it to a dealer in Florida and it ended up being bought by a couple in Vermont. They put just 8k miles on it and sold it. It's only got 19k miles on it.

It's the smallest class A, diesel pusher made. I've spoken with the original owner. He says that people buy a small RV at first and then quickly realize they want something bigger. 28 ft (inside length) isn't that big. Our first RV was the 21.5 ft long Rialta. Then we went to the 24.5 foot long Winnebago View and now we're up to a 28 footer.

Maybe we should skip all this upgrading nonsense and just go buy a 45 footer with 7 TVs, a washer & dryer and 450hp Cat engine!? Anyone got a 1/2 a million dollars we can borrow?

Our new RV is awesome but it is slow, heavy and underpowered compared to our Winnebago view. We've put a few hundred miles on it & slept one night in it so far. I'm getting used to driving it. Driving a wide, diesel pusher is quite a different than driving our last, smaller, class B+ RV.

We're getting a few issues worked out (under warranty) and then it'll be ready for serious use.

1. The air leveling system isn't working properly. Instead of the hydraulic arms that get stuck in the mud, :) It has airbags on each wheel that are supposed to blow up and deflate depending on the terrain it is parked on. I think the system has come out of adjustment because it doesn't seem to know where level is.

2. The RV sort of wanders around the lane while driving. This should be solved by a full alignment and airing up the tires to 85lbs. It's in the shop today having that done. They're going to check the front end over closely for any other problems.

3. I'm having a certified international service center check the engine for any issues that might cause low power. Even though it runs great, I'm convinced that something is wrong. My scanguageD is telling me that the max horsepower it is seeing from the engine is 175hp and max turbo boost is around 25psi. The engine is supposed to be putting out 215hp and I'm not sure what the boost number is supposed to be. The scangauge could be inaccurate but I doubt it is 40hp off in its reading. On 6/13 we will know for sure.

Movie night in the RV

I think we'll probably get out to the west coast this winter. It's been almost 3 years since we did that last. That's just too long. I'm getting the itch to travel. See you all out there!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

LL Bean = Made In China = Crap products

Your Ad Here LL BEAN = Made in China now. According to a story I read on the internet, 97% of the items sold by LL Bean are NOT made in the USA. 3% are made here. Sad. I can tell you that the made in China stuff is super cheaply made and wears out really fast.

My mom got me these $50 slippers for xmas 2013... the stitching is falling out and the cloth beneath the heels is already worn right through. It's been less than 3 months and it's not like I wear my slippers that much! How can they be falling apart like this? Because they're cheaply made in China!

LL Bean you should be ashamed of yourself for sacrificing jobs and quality for profits. Boooooooo!

Friday, October 25, 2013

AmyPower AmyLior Inc (rebranded as SUNRISE QUICKIE wheelchairs) Horrible customer service

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(888) 453-8458 & 1-800-333-4000
This blog is also not only a travel blog but is becoming my way to get the word out about horrible companies with even more horrible customer service.

My 70 year old dad is going through some health issues and has become unable to walk. Since he's not wealthy, doesn't have a lot of time to find the right chair and HATES bureaucratic medicaid red tape ...I went on ebay and found a like new, but slightly used, 2013 power wheel chair made for bariatric (heavy!) people.

The chair was $26,000 when it was sold new a few months ago. It did almost everything my dad needed it to. Thankfully, We paid a fraction of the new cost and had my dad sitting in it before a medicaid worker probably would have found their pencil and paper.


Before purchasing it, I phoned the company to try to find out more about the chair. Evidently, these companies that make medical products don't want to deal with the general public. They only want to deal with distributors and insurance companies. And, NOTHING IS URGENT TO THEM. NOTHING!

I was surprised when the lady at AMYSYSTEMS gave me a less than helpful attitude about answering my questions about the chair. As soon as I told her that I was considering buying it used from an ebay seller, she tuned out. She wanted nothing to do with me since I wasn't BUYING a NEW chair from one of their dealers. I guess AMYPOWER wheelchairs doesn't realize that people do pass on and their very expensive wheelchairs will eventually be sold on the used market by the grieving family?

Fast forward a couple days and I bought the chair from ebay. I had it delivered to my dads house. It arrived a week later & worked well. He was slowly getting used to piloting the gigantic chair around their small living room.

A few days ago he tried to tilt the chair back and ended up hitting a table behind him. He didn't realize this and kept trying to tilt the chair back. Doing so, broke the linear actuator (made mostly out of plastic) and the 2 guide rods (made out of weak pot metal), making the chair all but unusable.

I called the company that built the $26,000  wheelchair (AMYLIOR, AMYPOWER, AMYSYSTEMS... they have 3 names?!) hoping to buy the actuator and rods. Again, I was met with kind of nasty attitude. My subsequent calls were routed to voicemail. When they realized I would keep calling back and wasn't going away (my dad needs help!)... finally I was connected to a parts guy that first said he could sell me the parts and later emailed me saying, and I quote...

"Hi Donald,
After talking to my superior, I was reminded that we cannot sell directly to end user or chair owners. You will need to find a chair repair shop in your area. Sorry.
Best regards,
Paul Leroux
Technical Support

I had already explained to Paul on the phone that we didn't need a wheelchair repair shop to install the part. We just needed the part so we could install it ourselves. Time was of the essence.

It shouldn't be too much of a hassle for them to offer some sort of parts availability to "regular Joes" who have bought one of their incredibly expensive (and kind of cheaply made) chairs on the used market.

After much communication back and forth, Paul Leroux told me they can only sell parts to their dealers (which are few and far between) still staunchly refusing to sell parts to "average joe" who foolishly bought one of their chairs on the used market.

I am really disappointed in this company and would ABSOLUTELY NOT recommend buying a chair from them. There are too many other reputable wheelchair builders (with large dealer networks and ample parts availibility) to choose from that will offer advice and parts (without attitude) after the sale.

Do yourself and your family a favor and stay far away from AMYPOWER, SUNRISE & QUICKIE wheelchairs. The AMYPOWER wheelchairs are rebranded and sold by Sunrise Medical as QUICKIE brand chairs.

Sunday, October 13, 2013


Your Ad Here I grew up in Maine and have been going to LL Bean since back when they had that really long staircase up to the front door. I'm talking like 40+ years ago. They've always been pretty good but recently I returned 2 Victorinox "signature lite" knives that had been on my key chains for years and were broken.

LL Bean returns dept called me a week or so later and said they no longer offer this knife (probably because it has a light and a battery in it as well as a pen. Eventually ALL of these knives would stop working when the battery dies or the pen runs dry of ink) and they would give me a store credit.

I agreed and they said they'd email the gift card. I assumed it would be for around $60 since the knives were $29 each back when I bought them.

The email gift card arrive in my inbox and I was surprised to find a store credit for only $8.95 x 2!

After at least an hour emailing back and forth with LL Beans customer service, I was unable to convince them that whoever processed this return made a mistake. A blantant and obvious mistake as far as I could see. But no, not obvious to them! They would not admit to a mistake.

They gave me credit for 2 of the "Victorinox Swiss Army Classic Pocket Knife". According to the LL Bean CSR, The original price was $12.50 and the last sale price was $8.95 when the knife was last offered in 2006. I looked it up and found out that the current version of the Victorinox Swiss Army Classic Pocket Knife is item #TA247024 and cost $18! Yet, LL Bean decided it would be OK to give me store credit for just $8.95? What the heck LL Bean?

I am somewhat of a knife buff/collector and own many knives. I happen to have a "Victorinox Swiss Army Classic Pocket Knife" (that they gave me credit for) and a "Victorinox Signature lite" (the knife that I returned to LL Bean) right here on my desk. I took photos and emailed them to the CSR and still I get this reply...

"I have researched the Victorinox Swiss Army Signature Lite Pocket Knife and am sorry to say we have no history of selling this particular knife, either by catalog, online,or in our stores.
The knife that was returned was identified as the Victorinox Swiss Army Classic Pocket Knife. The original price was $12.50 and the last sale price was $8.95 when the knife was last offered in 2006. The current version of the this knife is item #TA247024.
Please let us know if you have any other information on when this knife may have been purchased, if it was in your name or purchased as a gift for you by someone else, or any additional information will be happy to research this further and correct the refund.

The black knife is the knife they currently sell for $18 but gave me $8.95 credit for. The red knife is the knife I paid $29 for & returned 2 of recently. They no longer sell this model but it is still made by Victorinox.

I replied with an old link to the "signature lite" on their own freaking website! It's obvious that they did sell this knife in the past.

I am left beating my head against the wall, wondering why LL Bean is fighting me when they supposedly have a 100% customer satisfaction guarantee.

LL Bean you really suck!

I'm thinking about returning this $135 lawn chair I bought from LL Bean this summer. The reason I paid big bucks for a lawn chair was because I thought if I ever had problems with it, I would be covered under their 100% satisfaction guarantee. But now I am finding out they aren't really very good at honoring that promise. God help me if/when I have any problems with this chair.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Almost a year ago...

Your Ad Here Wow, has it been that long since Tigger and I returned home from out last RV journey? It doesn't seem like it but it has been almost a year.

We've all gotten a bit older and our bones a bit more creaky since then. Tigger sleeps a lot these days.

Things are good for Herman and I. He's still working for Goldman Sachs (11 years & counting) and I'm still buying and selling things at auctions around the northeast.

I bought a used 1998 Chevy K3500 dually 4x4 truck and 8x16 enclosed trailer to make it easier to pick up and deliver auction items. I can haul pretty much anything now. ;)

I hope everyone that I personally met on our trip and everyone that I got to know through the blogs is having a great year. There's still a ton of stuff to see and we will be "out there" next winter for sure.


-Don, Herman & Tigger

Troy NY

Monday, February 27, 2012


Your Ad Here I've been home about a week now and slowly getting back to non RV life.

I am pretty sure that my "RV legs" have turned back to normal legs now.

After a while you start to not notice the movement but it's true... when you (or your dog) move around inside a winnebago View RV, it moves with you (ever so slightly). The movement is obvious enough at first but it becomes second nature to your body after a month or so.

When I moved back into a home that doesn't move when I (or Tigger) do, it was odd. I took a little getting used to.

My brain still isn't 100% convinced that I'm not living in the RV anymore. The other night, I arose from bed not fully awake. In a foggy sleep haze, it wasn't evident to me where I was. I stepped from bed and immediately touched the floor. I knew this was wrong because I'm supposed to climb down a 4 rung ladder before touching to the floor.

I stumbled around in the kitchen and after a few seconds, I woke up enough to realize where I was.


I went back to bed and fell right to sleep.

Herman asked what was the best part of the trip. I have to say that Carlsbad Caverns was the most amazing thing I saw throughout the trip. I'd love to go back again because there was much I did not get to see there.

Worst traffic? No doubt, it was on the way home trying to get around Washington DC. What a nightmare that is. I'd rather drive in and around NYC or Los Angeles than Washington DC.

If anyone has any questions about the trip... feel free to ask in a comment below.