My $600 Casita Brake Job
I got a call from the car repair shop at 7:30 Friday morning. It was their last work day, and they would be going on vacation all next week. They run a small mom and pop operation. They do excellent work. I’ve had them do all my work for more than six years.
When I told them, I needed to have the Casita wheel bearings greased, they were happy to get the work. They had done some horse trailers and were acquainted with light trailers. They said it would only take a few hours and offered me the option to wait… or they would drive me home.
I told them my son would follow me and take me home. Art and his wife Patti arrived Thursday and will be here until next Thursday. They will drive to the Grand Canyon to celebrate their twenty-first anniversary.
Art built my computer four years ago. One of his tasks this year is to build another computer and install the second 42-inch monitor. He’s also going to rewire all the wireless printers and make my system synced with ‘the cloud.’ All this tech stuff is way beyond me. I am just the recipient of his computer expertise.
Art lives in Green Bay Wisconsin where he runs the Media Department for the University of Wisconsin, Green Bay. Whenever I have a computer problem, I contact him, and he remotes into my system and fixes it.
Sounds like a great work arrangement, but he is hard to reach. It might be days before we connect. He’s that busy.
In addition to the computer stuff, he is going to help me update my flip phone to an iPhone.
With that bit of background, our plan was to go shopping for the 42-inch monitor and the different hardware to connect all the components. We expected to hear from the shop by eleven o’clock.
Noon came and went without hearing from the shop. We brought our purchases home and headed out to ATT and Verizon. I had ATT coverage and wanted to cancel it and go with Verizon. They have better cell phone coverage.
Like the best of plans, I’m not sure what happened, but somehow time slipped away from us, and we never did get to visit either cell phone store.
As the hours skirted past, we never heard from the shop. At 3:30 we decided to check and drove to the shop. We spotted the Casita parked in the back. A guy had pulled one wheel and was busy working, both hands deep into the innards.
Because we knew the shop closed at five, we asked how soon he would finish. He said it would be another hour or so. Satisfied, we drove home. At five we still had not heard from the shop. We drove there, and that was when I got the bad news.
The Casita didn’t have any brakes during the trip from Texas to my home in Surprise, Arizona. In fact, when they pulled the wheel, several parts fell out on the ground. I’m not familiar with exact terms, but I did understand when he said, “the guts spilled out to the ground.”
Casita uses a Dexter axle. It was almost two in the afternoon before they were able to locate a place that carried Dexter equipment. It required buying the entire Dexter brake assembly for each wheel.
Imagine my mental anxiety. During the day, we have been shopping for a 42-inch monitor and associated hardware. Those purchases already totaled more than $450.
I was also anticipating spending more than $700 for an iPhone. When told how a routine grease job had morphed into a major repair, I steeled myself for the worst.
I was right. $600 and change. The folks recognized their estimate was more than I expected. Of course, I needed the repair. They agreed to accept two monthly payments.
Now I can tow a completely safe Casita. I have two brand new tires, two brand new brakes, new air bags on the Toyota, the proper hitch, and a new right rear tail light.
In my experience, it is always the other guy who says, “It’s only money.” <sigh>