Sunday, October 14, 2018

Coach Maintenance and RV Rally

After a month at home doing various fall chores, we got back on the road for a two stop trip.

I get the RV chassis serviced once a year following the Freightliner service recommendation and since it was due for a big five year service which includes transmission and coolant system I decided to take it to the Freightliner Custom Chassis Corp (FCCC) service center in Gaffney, SC.  I figured these folks are likely to do a fine job since they service these chassis all day, every day.

This is the service center with six bays (three on the other side) and the coaches lined up for the day with us in the last shot. 

Our appointment was for 8am on Friday so we drove over to Gaffney on Thursday and pulled into one of their 20 camping sites with 50 amp electric but no water or sewer which was no issue. 

That evening we went to Daddy Joe’s Beach House and Grill for supper where we got large portions of good food and at reasonable $10.95 price.  

I had a combo of chopped BBQ and Calabash Chicken with sides of baked beans and wedge fries along with hush puppies and while I didn’t get a shot my meal looked like this one with chicken in place of the wings.

Bev said she enjoyed her Calabash Chicken and Calabash Shrimp with potato salad and slaw – Calabash Style means lightly breaded but it seemed like a normal amount to me.

After servicing on Friday, the coach was returned to the site and we spent another night before heading to Sevierville, TN on Sat.

The service cost was $1368 + tax with labor to service the chassis and generator being $650 at $100/hr (actually cheaper than taking it to a dealer) and materials account for the rest of the cost (fluids were $438). 

So we are all serviced for a year but unfortunately they found a small oil leak from the engine which we’ll need to attend to when we get home. 

Since we stayed both the night before and after the service, we had an entire day to kill and several hours with no coach, so we opted for a factory tour.  Gaffney is not only home to the service center but also the factory for FCCC, where they assemble chassis for school buses and delivery vans (think UPS) as well as motor homes for several brands - about 50,000 chassis/year.

FCCC is a sub-division of Freightliner which is owned by Daimler, the German company that also owns Mercedes Benz and Smart Car.  The factory uses very modern and highly efficient manufacturing practices to make their high quality products and as an old plant guy I found the tour very interesting and even Bev said she enjoyed it.

Then we drove about 10 miles north to the site of the Revolutionary War Battle Site at Cowpens.  It is a National Battlefield Park requiring no admission.  It is basically just a visitors center and a field with not much in it that I saw and while it was an important battle for the Americans, I don’t quite see the need to spend money on a place that seems to slowly be taken over by trees.

The main reason for scheduling the service appointment when we did was that we would be part way to Gaffney anyway to attend a Tennessee Travelers rally in Sevierville the following week so we just showed up two days early.  The Saturday drive back from Gaffney took us an extra hour due to a four car wreck on I-26 and the heavy traffic from I-40 to Sevierville (Saturday of fall break). 

We checked into River Plantation RV Resort (our forth visit) and were assigned site 122 for two nights – we added the extra days too late to get the same site as for the rally.  I really don’t consider this a resort yet as they have gravel roads and sites and WiFi only in a couple of central locations.

The highlight of the day was getting set up in time to watch the second half of the Tennessee – Auburn game in which UT pulled off an upset and gave first year coach Jeremy Pruitt his first big win.  The low point of the day was watching my WV Mountaineers flounder around in a loss to Iowa State and after watching several previous games I was not at all surprised.

That’s it for now from Sevierville and I'll have more updates about our rally.

Photos can be enlarged by clicking on them and the blue words are links.

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by Almost Heaven South.


10/11-10/13/18 Event Dates


  1. Larry, Daddy Joe's Beach House and Grill looks and sounds like our kind of place! As for maintaining our historic battlefields, we don't spend enough money on the effort, we don't pay National Park folks enough money and we keep cutting back on funding. Just our opinion...when you consider the money wasted in other places in the National budget. Go Vols! We were stunned by elated with UT's win over Auburn. Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

  2. Larry the preventive maintenance and service does pay off in the long run, nice to get that taken care of and out of the way. I know you will enjoy the rally as you always do.

  3. Glad you got your RV serviced....Sorry abut the oil leak --but I'm sure you won't have any trouble getting it fixed once you are home.

    I actually CRIED (with JOY) seeing the Vols pull off that win yesterday!!!!!

    We love Calabash (North Carolina that is) ---and can't wait to get back there for some of that delicious food.

    Have a great rally week.


  4. I've never heard of Calabash or Calasash, but I bet it was good. So are you "in" for the Winter now? Speaking of Winter - we had our first snow yesterday. Let the Winter games begin. :)

  5. Ten dollars and ninety five cents will almost not even buy you a glass wine around here. A couple of glasses of wine might help when paying the service bill. Having the service done is worth every penny to give you piece of mind while on the road.

  6. Not easy to find a meal around here at that price, much less find hushpuppies. Too bad the battlefield isn't well-maintained, that's not good. So many of them are interesting to see. Mostly good with your RV. Winter is just around the corner here, all of 44° today.

  7. Bummer about the oil leak. Have a fun time at the Tennessee Travelers rally.

  8. Craig and I have been day dreaming about getting an RV and traveling the US, when we retire (in about three years). I think it's something we'd both love. That meal is a bargain at $10.95.

  9. Sounds like you are all ready for another year of fun travels once you get that oil leak fixed.

  10. I'm sure it was a relief to get your 5 year service done at such a reasonable price. Glad you wer able to make a little vacation out of it.


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