Hitch-It Rite RV Services
12475 Dixie Highway
|June 2, 2011|
When I got hooked up at McGinnis Lake Campground in Holly Recreation Area, my first stop in Michigan for the start of the entire summer in this glorious state, I was happy with my campsite, but not amused to discover my Norcold refrigerator was not working. No error message, no lights on anywhere, no option to run on propane, nothing – completely dead. I tried running with generator, using propane option, checking fuses, tripping the breaker, which was the extent of what I knew how to do. I called Norcold and asked them for more troubleshooting tips, but they said that's all I could do and that it was time to call one of their authorized technicians. They said the closest service to me was Hitch-It-Right located in Holly, but by that time it was after 5:00 and I figured all the frozen food I had just stocked up with would go bad since I was sure it would be the next day before he'd come out.
So I considered myself extremely blessed when I called Ed and he said he wasn't too far away at that point and he would come by to check it out. Maybe that's typical of service in a small town like Holly, but I was already impressed!
Ed quickly determined it was a failure of the circuit board that was installed as part of the last Norcold recall repair work I had done in February.
I really appreciated how Ed patiently explained to me in layman terms what happened with the refrigerator this time and the overall issue with this recall. Due to some refrigerators that overheated to the extent of causing fires within RVs, Norcold developed a high temperature sensor kit that sensed if there was overheating, would shut the power down to let it cool off to the correct temperature, then the power should come back on. Apparently, the circuit board in my kit failed and needed to be replaced and was sent back to Norcold for diagnosis.
Ed explained that Norcold does not supply their service techs with these parts to be kept in stock. So whenever one fails, it takes 3-5 days to get the parts delivered. I would not have been a happy camper for that long without a refrigerator, but Ed was able to make it work basically the way it did before the sensor was installed. He installed a 15 amp fuse that allowed power back to the original circuit to operate the refrigerator, and the fuse would have broken the circuit before starting a fire if it had overheated during that time. (I just wrote down what he said here, not that I understand what it all means – I was just glad he was able to fix it temporarily until the main fix was done.)
So I was impressed enough with his knowledge and customer care attitude as he also was checking on what parts might be needed to fix the Kwikee electric steps that had also decided to quit working at this same time. When one of my outings took me past his shop, I stopped in to check it out and meet Cindy, who I'd been speaking to by phone about the timing of the parts arrival and when the final repairs would be done. She had been so nice and friendly, I wanted to meet and thank her as well.
As the sign says, this is a family owned and operated business. On left is brother Clint, who's been in the RV repair business for 20 years. Nick is "family enough" since he is Ed's son's best friend.
Ed has experience in sales and service of RVs since 1984 and can repair all types on trailers and motorhomes. Besides being a certified Norcold repair technician, he is also certified by Dometic.
I always appreciate a certified service that will come out to your site instead of me having to go to all the time and trouble to bring it in, so this was a big plus to me. But if you do need to bring your RV in and have to stay overight, they have a spot for you on their lot with 30 amp electric and water hookups. You can also have your motorhome propane tank filled or refill your portable propane tanks here.
Don't have your own RV at the moment? Ed has travel trailers and motorhomes available for rental and he'll even deliver to help you get set up as well as pick it up when you're through with your trip. If you're ready to buy or sell, he has a consignment lot and/or a place to store your RV.
By the time the Norcold part came in, Ed had found a used circuit board for the Kwikee steps he wanted to try out before I spent hundreds on a new one or went so far as to replace the steps.
I had decided those stairs were possessed. Starting in 2010 I had problems with them extending while I was on the road. After that was fixed all was fine for a while, but then they would be temperamental and not extend at all sometimes. This would happen for no particular reason that I could tell. If I was on level ground where it would be no problem, they would work. If that side was hiked up to where I had to jump to the ground, that's when they'd decide not to extend. First repair place said it was a fuse, and it worked for a while after that. The next time it stopped working, I was on my way to SC for a month and figured I'd get it fixed there. But by the time I got there, they were working again. When I got here, once again, they stopped cooperating at a very inconvenient time.
After Ed installed the used circuit board (i.e., control unit or control board), it still didn't work and he couldn't understand why since he could see there was now power from the board to the motor. So he used the oldest repair trick in the book – he "tapped" the motor with a hammer and that "coaxed" it to work! He thinks maybe the brushes were stuck in closed position and the tapping freed them enough to allow the steps to work. He cautioned me that I may have to replace the motor at some point, but at least it's working for now and I'm going to just be thankful for that, and that I found another angel repairman like Ed, and pray that my good luck continues around Michigan…
Update June 15, 2011:
As I'm updating this page, I see that my last words above were praying for good luck around Michigan. So, I guess it depends on what is considered good luck or not. I can't say I deemed it good luck when I went 3 days without electricity, but I know it could have been a lot worse. My blog gives all the details on me being "Burnt Out", but I just wanted to add my gratitude here for Ed and Clint helping me out at the next stop. During their busiest time at the start of the MI RVing season, they still took pity on me and came farther out to an area they don't usually work in and got me "electrified" again. Great work and great guys here!
I'd love to hear your own experiences about places I've been - and what you think are "must-sees" - and I really value any suggestions and feedback from readers, so please let me have your 2 cents in Comments below: