THE ULTIMATE TRANSPORTER
The Second LOOK at the 2006 Marquis
The phone rings and a gentleman annouces he is from Holiday Motorhomes and has a price on
the 2001 Beaver Marquis. We listen and he quotes a figure of $******.00 !!!! but says they
might get more…… I ask him to run it by me one more time just to make sure I hadn’t misheard
and he comes back with the same figure …….Not quite sure what is going on here but after 15
months of useage and another 12,000 miles they are going to offer us $40,000.00 more than
WE PAID FOR IT!
Another visit to Holiday Motorhomes is required at this stage!
Brenda now arms herself with notepad and prepares the “fix it” list and also the “freebie wants”
list. Mighty fine negotiator, and they wilt under feminine charms and business acumen and
surrender to all her demands.
With the deal done just before the new year we wait for them to complete the fix it list….. then
they want the 2001 brought in so they can move it on, we comply and we have given them until
late March to complete all the tasks including the new wine bar that Brenda has talked them into.
The 2001 is delivered and after waiting for them to bring the 2006 alongside so that we can
transfer all our goodies we note that 4/5th of f*** all has been completed on the fix it list!
The rear mudflap is still hanging on but the bolts haven’t been tightened, the festering flat
screen TV will still not come down and and annoying overly long screw still rucks the close out
carpet. The Beaver logo which had some stone chips has also still not been repainted. Oh well,
early days and the transfer begins and I discover there is another huge mudflap, still in it’s box
in one of the underbays. Also the tow bar extension had not arrived, great!
Very nice inside
King Size Bed with sleep number mattress (Brenda doesn’t like the colors)
Finally, after 4 wasted hours we depart with the 2006 and they say they will come and get it
when the parts are in. At the end of January they come and collect it and away it goes to be
sorted, apparently this is quite normal for something costing $625,000.00! We wait, we wait,
and we wait some more……..
3rd week of February I drive by the establishment and drop in to see the progress…….. NONE!
The shop foreman and I have a one sided conversation and it appears none of the “goodies”
have even been ordered, but this they do as I stand there. The great thing about the Beaver is
that Monaco (the builders) know exactly what was fitted to every single vehicle that they make,
and who fitted it, and what the serial number of the component is.
Brenda has a long and forceful conversation with the owner of Holiday Motorhomes and
expresses her displeasure along with my sentiments that they couldn’t organise the proverbial
in a brothel!
First week of March, and now just 2 weeks to departure on the maiden voyage, time to check
where the wine bar is? Oh yes, it came in but it’s the wrong one and is for a 2007 model!!!! and
needless to say doesn’t fit! Did it not occur to you to re-order the correct one???
Clearly this is too much for them to handle and Brenda takes over and deals directly with the
service/parts manager at Monaco who will personally get her one made from scratch and that
should take about 10 days, and we settle on 4 as we are running out of time ….. and they WILL
overnight it. The 4 days elapse….. yes, it’s ready! Day 5 check with Holiday Motorhomes….”did it
arrive ?”……… ” did what arrive?” …….. “Monaco, where is it?…..sorry it missed the flight, but it
will leave today”.
Day 6 it arrives and unfortunately the fitting panels are not with it and now it’s Friday. “Ok,
button it up and have it ready to roll Monday morning as we are leaving on Wednesday.”
In Our Yard
Monday morning the coach swings into the yard and Brenda attacks same with tons of stuff to
be loaded and other things that have to be “just so”. A new gas bar-b-q fits in a bay and a gas
line is made to run directly off the coach LP gas. During the course of loading and cleaning Brenda
trys the entertainment side, and true to form the TV refuses to come down again! They say bring
it in and we will fix it, WE say you get your ….. out HERE and fix it!
Great for Entertaining. The Light (top right) is where the Bar will be!
Tuesday they come out and attempt to fix it and eventually they do fix it and also sort out the
central locking. Things now seem to be going to plan until having loaded the trailer I try and put
the flat 4 pin into my GMC 7 pin adapter and connect to the coach 7 pin? It won’t fit and this is
getting beyond a joke, 7 to 7 why won’t it fit? So another trip downtown and wander the aisles
of Pepboys looking at plugs and such …… and there is one that says 7 pin RV! It appears from
the aisle that every manufacturer makes their own sodding 7 pin plug….WHY?????
Doof is suitably impressed
Back to the yard and now I have trailer lights and at about the same time the all too familiar
heralds to announce that yes, we have TV, but now we have no sound?……when does this ever
end? More in depth conversations reveal nothing but we are GOING so we will deal with this later.
Depart on time for the first 700 mile leg through southern AZ, the bottom of NM and into Texas.
All goes well until halfway to Tuscon with no music, just me and the dogs and traffic, when all of a sudden ..BWWWWAAAAAAAR!!! DINg-a Ling…. I’m at the front row of a rock concert and
blasted out of my seat by 200+ decibels! It transpires that Brenda couldn’t get any power to her
computer and went into the bathroom circuit breaker cabinet and found one that had tripped.
Who would think that the Bus had an audiocb! ??? Another piece of the RV jigsaw!
Doof do you want a go?
No further incidents and park at Walmart somewhere in Texas. Why Walmart you ask? , well with
a 60′ rig and after a 700 mile drive the last thing ,I, as a driver want is a complicated docking
procedure in a RV park so Walmart with all it’s parking and lights is easy and free.
The next day the forecast is good and should be a pleasant drive to the LA border and Diamond
Don’s. Approaching Houston the sky looks pretty black ahead and then I can see the flashes and
shortly thereafter it comes on to rain. On with the giant wipers on the new panoramic one piece screen…der…der..der..der…
and then the rain gets harder and I’m watching the driver’s wiper getting periously close to the
edge of the screen with every wipe …… then before I can comment on it it sails off round the side
of the coach and slaps me on the side window, at which point it blows a fuse and stops! …Great!
So in the rain we exit the freeway and park on the exit ramp which is a bit narrow so I have to
position the bus on the angled hard shoulder. Out in the pouring rain and open the bus fuse
panel by the driver’s wheel. Inside there are 10 rows of multiple fuses in every color, a bit like a
chocolate box assortment….. now where are the wipers? Eventually find it (last row bottom left
of course) and by now the rain is bouncing up about 10 inches and the underside of my bum is
getting wet!, enough of this and beat feet for the door with head bowed….. as I round the front
of the coach and approach the entrance door I meet Muhammed Ali with a straight jab from the
giant wing mirror which knocks me flat on my back! …… Meanwhile Brenda has seen my running
form dashing across the screen and is puzzled as to why I’m still out in the rain? I arrive, wet,
covered in gravel and mud clutching my head….. another RV lesson, mind those giant mirrors!
A little later I have the wipers back in place and a new fuse in. Fresh coffee, time to go, up to the
intersection, turn left with 60′ and as I do so the fridge and freezer doors open sending cans of
beer and soda, amongst other things cascading all over the floor, some of the cans go bang and
it’s sounding like a firework display as the coach slowly continues around the turn adding more
fuel to the fire. Right turn , doors shut, lots of screaming and yelping dogs, and I’m back on the
freeway ramp accelerating as the cabin staff clean up the mess. Der..der…der… der… and as we
enter the freeway and hit 50 mph DWANG! the driver’s wiper says hello again! Fresh out of
fuses I elect to continue and tell Brenda it’s just like riding the Beemer in the rain and we are
At Dallas we pull off at a truck stop to pick up some fuses, water, fuel and dump the tanks ready
for the weekend. So here we learn yet another RV lesson,…… NO MULTI TASKING! At the fuel
stop there is a “special” place for RV’s, ever wondered why? We pull in, shut down and Brenda is
on fuses and other supplies, I start refueling and then the plan is to set up for dumping and taking
fresh water on board. No sooner have I locked the diesel handpump in place and I’m about to pull
out the hosepipe when the diesel dispenser jumps out of the tank, stays locked on of course, and
as I try and grab the writhing monster it rolls on it’s back and hoses me down, head to foot in
Refueling done, Brenda monitors the oncoming water while I clean the screen and replace the
fuse and reset the wipers. Good! now for the dumping which I have to wait for as a Winnie is
hosing down into a square receptacle which I assume is the dump station. The water is taking
for ever, about 2 galls a minute so we are going to be here a while. Get out the giant hose and
this is very neat and position it near the square ……. I’m ready and as Winnie completes I hit the
dump button and the force coming through the pipe is pretty impressive and as I open the valve
so is the rate of delivery! I no sooner open it then I’m closing as the force and volume fill the
square. It’s also bloody heavy so now I have this giant Anaconda over my shoulder like a firefighter
bracing for the force. Just getting to the end of this operation when out of the corner of my eye I
see the REAL dump station hidden in the long grass! Pack up this operation and check with
Brenda who says we have 50 galls on board so we will quit at 65 as the queue behind us is
getting longer and longer. Finally 65, and I get the signal and nauseatingly hit the electric hose
rewind. V clever, now deselect the fill and put on the pump, but obviously some switch error here
as loud shrieks from inside indicates all is not well. I run round to the door and now we are
pumping overboard at around 30 galls a minute and by the time I’ve deselected switches pumps
and anything else we have a large lake under the bus with all my excess diesel floating on it!
35 minutes to get up to 65 gallons and ONE minute to get it back to 35 again……… we leave
quickly to cover any further embarassment. Practice these procedures at home to avoid public
humilliation. Amazingly we get to our destination without further incident with me smelling like
a tanker driver.
Parked at Diamond Don’s
The event takes place, all works well until the aftermath when the sooper dooper new shower
is tried….. lots of water but all cold. Hot water everywhere else but not in the shower! TV works
and this time sound so no problems for the rest of the weekend and we leave Sunday morning
for the first leg of the return run. Incident free and driving this “mega bus” is very pleasant, and
today no rain.
It drives better but I can’t get more than 1500?
The last leg back to the Phoenix area starts well and then after refuelling we are on the USA’s
fastest freeway where we are whipping past all the 18 wheelers and are up in the 80’s
Some road works and the restriction is only 60 so slow and through we go ….. at the end of the
work area press on the warp pedal and all that happens is the bus downshifts to 5th and all I
can get is 1500 rpm ? I now have to wait until a downhill before the speed picks up and it will
up shift to top and then accelerate. Any rise and it downshifts and all that is available is 1500!
With all other instrumentation normal my assumption is a partially blocked fuel filter. Ringing
ahead not a soul has one, they all know what we want, can get one in a couple of days etc etc
……and so the painfully slow 55-60 mph journey continues for the next 600miles! HOW
……. and referring to the mega bus library we find the phrase ” a blocked fuel filter can spoil your
whole day”….. always carry a spare. Now, if this is something that is considered the “norm” I
would have thought this would be a major briefing point, or even a freebie when you take
delivery. My normal humour is not to be triffled with on this leg of the journey.
The following morning I tell Holiday Motorhomes to come and collect it and bring it back when
they have fixed everything properly
New fuel filter
New airfilter as the canister was broken
Hot water in shower
Water leak under sink
The mystery wine rack and cabinet
The ongoing TV problem
It duly returns and you think …….what’s next?
The next installment in this rivetting series will reveal more……..
Tony & Brenda Still Learning the hard way! … and Cadbury as “Doof” the dog.