More on Less Control


COE EAST BANK CAMPGROUND, CHATTAHOOCHEE, FL–Since I had taken the RV out of storage and been on the road again (only a little over two weeks now), the RV has been running very rough. At first I thought it was just old gas or maybe condensation in the tank, but, as I found out yesterday after taking her into the Ford dealer in Live Oak (FL), it’s a bad ECU (engine control unit)–a little computer that monitors and maintains various functions in most vehicles on the road today.

The bad news is that they did a national search for this little bugger and there just aren’t any to be found (my RV is a 1994). More bad news is that in order to fix her, they need to pull the ECU, ship it off for repair and maybe have it back in two weeks (maybe a month). Two weeks (a month!) with no place to live since the RV can’t be driven without the ECU. Miserable.

So I looked online and within a couple minutes found the exact part I needed. I could either drive down to Davie, FL and pick it up (a day and a half there and back), or they could ship it to me for Monday delivery. I decided I’d find a place to camp the RV, drive down to Davie in the jeep and be up and running the next day.

More bad news–bizarre news even–was that I couldn’t find a single place in town (or even near town) that had a site for two nights. There was a big concert going on and I guess big concerts in little towns are a big thing. I tried at Stephen Foster (where I had stayed the last few nights), but no luck. I tried another place that said they had only one site open for two nights, but they couldn’t hold it. When I got there a half hour later, it was taken. I even tried this little campground with lots of empty sites on the far outskirts of town, and when I said I’d be running down to S. FL overnight, she looked at me as if I had just shot her dog and said you can’t store your RV here. I said, “But I’ll be back tomorrow!” She crumpled up the paperwork she had started to fill out on me and gave me that I’ve-got-a-shotgun-right-here-behind-the-counter look.

Everything was going against me.

(More below the break…)
Finally, bewildered by my luck, I gave up. I headed to a little Corp of Engineers campground that I had planned on heading to originally (the RV runs, just rough), and upon setting up camp and wondering why everything was going wrong, got online and looked up reviews for the place that was going to sell me the ECU. The Better Business Bureau gave them an “F” rating and all the customer reviews had given them only a single star (the lowest rating). Apparently they’re a scam, just swapping out bad ECUs for someone else’s bad ECU and, when someone wants their $400 back, they point out how all refunds are for “credit only”–meaning you can continue swapping out bad ECUs until you realize you’ve been taken.

Reading those reviews, I felt quite lucky, relieved even, that I hadn’t been able to find a campsite. As frustrating as the day was, once more I felt divinely guided.

Still feeling down though (I’m talking the RV runs really rough: coughs, stalls, won’t start unless you pray really really hard–you know the deal), I called a Ford dealer in Tallahassee for a second opinion and talked to their parts department guy, Rick. He said he doubted he’d be able to find one but he’d try.

This morning, Rick tells me that after 14 phone calls and dragging three other people from around the country to help out in the search, he found the part I needed and it should be here Tuesday. I thought, “Now She’s just F***ing with me,” drove into Tallahassee, prepaid for the part, and tipped Rick forty bucks.

The less there is of me, the more there is of Her.

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5 thoughts on “More on Less Control

  1. I’m glad the good folks in this town were able to help you find the part. Now, hopefully they get it installed Tuesday and you are quickly on your way. At least you have been spending time enjoying what must be one of the most beautiful spring times in this part of the state. Good Luck!

  2. Alls not bad what a spectacular photo, you had the oppertunity of it! Not ever anywhere else but that moment. Just love it. Sending love and good vibrations on the part and as for the RV talking nicely to her sure to do it beautifully. Happy travels..

  3. @Jeff: Wise words Obi-wan.
    @Doug: Wise words Major.
    @ Christine: Welcome Christine. I’m a native Floridian, but I’m astonished at how much nicer, friendlier, and more relaxed this part of the state–the panhandle–is. 🙂
    @Q: “Not ever anywhere else but that moment.” Wise words Presence.

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