Last year I ran over my sewer hose. Eager to try the features of my first 60-foot space with complete hookups and being already parked and settled, I decided to try the cable TV service. Lo and behold my cable wouldn’t reach to the jack….no problem, I revved the motor and crept carefully forward just enough to reach the box. Woops! Crushed my (painstakingly) pre-attached sewer hose. I didn’t have the, Rhino Extreme, which claims you can run over it and it bounces right back; it wouldn’t have mattered if I had, since the LT’s “pre-attached” hose, resides in its own tube hidden under the van …  I’d pulled the hose loose from its attachments leaving only a rubbery hard to cut thread to mock me. . . . .

I sat in the waiting room of the RV shop in Tacoma WA with the dogs, bored; it took well over two hours, maybe three even though the owner told me they’d do it right away, it wouldn’t be a problem, etc. etc. . .  I was treated to an earful of how he and his wife had found Southern CA too expensive and had been relived and delighted to find their new home / horse ranch on the outskirts of Tacoma. I did get suspicious when I was chewed out “for looking” at my van parked outside the RV bays. It had been driven onto two wooden blocks to provide a little elbowroom to reach the underside. I was watching from a safe distance, curious about the procedure. It looked like an easy job. I took a picture before I was chased away and told to remain in the stuffy windowless “waiting room.” At one point the owner popped in and asked if wanted to pay for the premium hose, I said yes as he said it only cost an additional $10.

This was my first emergency repair. I thought they were being nice to help me out. They “s-e-e-m-e-d” so friendly, asking lots of questions about Santa Barbara and my dogs, especially they inquired about Olympia and her breed. The long wait wore me out, I was eager to get back on the road and find a spot for the night.

Late that night after driving a long long distance from Tacoma, I pulled out my shiny new premium sewer hose . . .  you could have heard my shouts across the campground, except I’m very courteous and kept my dismay quiet. I’d not only been harshly overcharged but I’d been rooked. I suffered the rest of the trip with a too short, too cheap sewer hose that dripped and spilled, my nice fittings were gone; the replacement hose barely came out of the tube and hung there in midair, which resulted in a mess with every attachment and detachment to my secondary hose. I cursed the brown thing and the “fortune” I’d paid for this travesty. So you can’t blame me for wanting to forget about it.

A few weeks ago I wrote to Leisure Travel in Canada with a list of issues, including the sewer hose arrangement, the answer was that the tube is intended to hold 15 to 20 feet of hose and there on their website is a 2012 model like mine, but built on the Chevy with the same sewer configuration. I began to see the sewer hose arrangement is SUPPOSED to make it easier for us mortals. Although I’d still opt for a complete redesign if it was possible.

So I set out at a late date to address the problem. Wanted to also repair the backside window, which has a worn gear, which means one can turn the nice black knob all day long, but to open or close the window one must go outside and manually give it a push or a tug. My prior experiences with the RV shops vaguely in my area…they are a min of 45 min to over 2 hours away have not fared well with high prices, very long waits and unpredictable quality of work so with vague hopes I checked Larry’s Auto Parts in Goleta, they have a small second room with a few select RV supplies….Santa Barbara at one time had an RV repair shop, Larry’s is now all we have….someday….. perhaps Santa Barbara will have RV service again. (probably after I leave town.)

Larry’s had a window gear…turned out to be the wrong gear but they also had a 3-ply heavy-duty 20 foot sewer hose! Now who can get excited to see a sewer hose sitting on a shelf? They didn’t have a Rhino Extreme with its fancy fittings but I decided I’d settle for not having to drive out of town. That left me with the problem of attaching it. I was sure it was an easy job in spite of the grumbles and complaints and high fees delivered by the RV shops. It turned out my solution was a few blocks away in Goleta at Bruce’s Auto. I drove by telling him about my troubles, for some reason he wasn’t busy and to my delight, he said, “sure bring it in.” Bruce is a man of few words. I had to drop off the LT early so I could work on my final project for printmaking class. When I picked it up Bruce told me that he managed to get all 20 feet of the new hose, as well as the old hose all nicely in the “container.” I was stumped, “really?” I asked. I couldn’t believe it, but he ginned and said it was easy. The window gear had to be ordered and for twice the price I could ask for overnight delivery so I went back to Larry’s to inquire and met up with the one fellow I do not like. He yells at customers with a guilt trip making me frequently leave their shop without whatever I came for. This time I stuck it out but finally gave up when he insisted that Bruce had come in but had not ordered any window gear because it wasn’t in the book and so couldn’t be ordered.

Well, I’d live without it, but my brain was nagging about the how Bruce had stuffed so much length of sewer hose into a 4-foot tube. Tired and exhausted when I arrived home I nevertheless dropped down to the pavement on my dangerously busy street—the sewer connection is on the driver’s side next to traffic to open the tube and check. Something ugly and brown and way to short dangled out of the tube. Oh no!!!!  I ran around to the storage compartment on the other side and sure enough there was the new hose all coiled and tightly squeezed into the box alongside the old hose sporting the new fittings which I hadn’t wanted. I thought how he’d charged $65 for the hose—that was the system with the fittings—I’d asked him to get the $58 hose without the fittings….   This problem seemed to be cursed!

I rang him on my cell and sputtered my dismay…”oh” he said” that’s what you were talking about, bring it back. I’ll take care of it.”

Another early morning at Bruce’s but this time I popped off the cover to the tube and showed him the ugly monster…”Oh you have one of those terrible hoses!” He told me he hadn’t seen a system like the LT….I’d forgotten how unusual it is, I liked his cheery tone when he said, “Oh I see I can unbolt it here and here; no, this won’t be a problem.” His pronouncement about the brown hose was that it wasn’t even worth $10. I mentioned that the emergency repair place had stolen my fixings (the connectors holding to hoses together) and what an unpleasant mess it was.

At last that afternoon it was ready, I went to pick it up expecting I’d have to pay dearly for this onerous job. But NO!!!! No charge, he said! (Mind you I’d already paid for a tip check the day before.) “It only took 10 minutes to put it on” Wow, I was happy but feeling even more disgruntled by the pervious two RV shops, especially the shop in Tacoma and I’d paid hundreds of dollars for this 10 min job. I’m taking it on faith that everything is okay now. I saw the ugly brown short monster lying on Bruce’s worktable…. Tomorrow I’ll check the tube and see.