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Thursday, January 19, 2017

South Texas!

So, it's been a while...shocking! We are usually so good at updating things around here. Anyways, since we posted last we have moved to south Texas. We are still living in the Montana fifth wheel on base, but we also bought some property (eeeek!) At first glance it's not what most people would call paradise, or would even want to call home! But, we love it and I think it's a good fit for us.

The first time we drove to this property, Steve and I were both charmed with the dusty, bumpy dirt road. There was only one home nearby, and two pieces of property next to each other listed for sale. The gate had to be lifted off the hinges for us to go in (the lock hadn't been removed in so long and no one had a key), and we were wary of taking the truck in the 'driveway', afraid that we might puncture a tire on the weird, sharp, stick-like bushes that grow everywhere down here, but we did. It was a mess. Everything was so overgrown it was hard to tell if this was a good deal or not. I decided it was not, but Steve was in love. Even the realtor knew it after he was describing it to her!! She said she saw that look in his eye....and she was right.  I wish I had taken more pictures of the landscape at that moment, before we took ownership. It's so hard to describe and now you'll never know what I saw when we walked up the first time. Lucky for you, I do have pictures of the disgusting buildings that came with this property. I wish I could share the smells with you...maybe I'll take that up with the yankee candle people. It was awful. A huge building full of stuff that had been strewn about and was collecting rat feces and mold as water was pouring through the large holes in the roof. Gross!

Here's a decent shot of the brush that was everywhere!

Fast forward to today and we have 3 cleaned out, well, empty buildings, a driveway you can drive on, a backyard, a small chicken coop, a tiny bit of the garden area tilled and planted, and a path all the way to the back, which doesn't sound like a lot, but my goodness it took an entire day on a big tractor to make that happen. We have spent almost every weekend working out there, and even though most of the time we come back completely exhausted, it's been so fulfilling to polish this diamond in the rough a little at a time. So come visit, family and friends, we have water, a working toilet, and plenty of space to pitch a tent :) Soon we'll even have electricity, and we'll be really fancy!

I'm hoping to keep up with the posts for a while. I want to keep track of the progress we've made. There's no telling how long we will get to live here and I'm trying to make the most of this short opportunity to live out my homesteading dreams.

I'll leave you with the lovely pictures of our paradise and our beloved chickens that have yet to lay any eggs since they arrived. And, there are no hard feelings about that (yet) since they have endured quite a bit of stress over the last couple of weeks. Travelling 400 miles, a hard freeze, raccoon break-in attempts....they are a tough bunch! Can't wait to upgrade their coop in the future and bring in some more feathered friends. Without further ado...meet Fabio (rooster), Goldilocks (gold colored americana), Featherina (orange americana), and Black Shadow (black and white barred rock).

Saturday, May 7, 2016

New 5th Wheel!

We finally found out our gate for the next few years and were able to upgrade. We got a Keystone Montana 3950BR and love it!

Still moving in and out is a little chaotic. Hopefully we will be able to post more frequently (heard that before I know) in the near future.

By the way, posted this from my phone so I hope it looks ok.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

VW TDI Petition

So the EPA is going attempting to fine VW more than my TDI cost new for each vehicle, plus ridiculous amounts for each day and other items. Yet, massive plants and industries, including airlines, emit ridiculous amounts of NOx and are regularly grandfathered in their pollution. 

How about we get some figures from the EPA so we can point see whether their interests are on behalf of the public or more political in nature...


"Enter a judgment that VW is liable to the United States for civil penalties for each
violation of Section 203(a) of the Act, and assess civil penalties against VW as follows:
i. up to $32,500 per 2.0L Subject Vehicle and 3.0L Subject Vehicle for each
violation occurring before January 13, 2009, and up to $37,500 per 2.0L
Subject Vehicle and 3.0L Subject Vehicle for each violation occurring on or
after January 13, 2009 for violations of Section 203(a)(1) of the Act;
ii. up to $32,500 per 2.0L Subject Vehicle and 3.0L Subject Vehicle for each
violation occurring before January 13, 2009, and up to $37,500 per 2.0L
Subject Vehicle and 3.0L Subject Vehicle for each violation occurring on or
after January 13, 2009 for violations of Section 203(a)(3)(A) of the Act;
2:16-cv-10006-LJM-MJH Doc # 1 Filed 01/04/16 Pg 27 of 31 Pg ID 27
iii. up to $2,750 per “defeat device” per 2.0L Subject Vehicle and 3.0L Subject
Vehicle for each violation occurring before January 13, 2009, and up to
$3,750 per “defeat device” per 2.0L Subject Vehicle and 3.0L Subject
Vehicle for each violation occurring on or after January 13, 2009 for
violations of Section 203(a)(3)(B) of the Act; and
iv. up to $32,500 per day of violation occurring before January 13, 2009, and up
 to $37,500 per day of violation occurring on or after January 13, 2009 for
 violations of Section 203(a)(2) of the Act."

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Ford's Response to my Contact after 30+ days at Arrow Ford

Here is the response that I received from Ford Motor Company, well after requested response time and after I had already sent a final notification to Ford. This was after the issue immediately continued after spending over a month at Arrow Ford, a Ford labeled dealership that I had attempted to take all of my business too even though I moved all over the US. The dealership I purchased my first vehicle from and made maintenance visits during vacations/holiday trips home. They also failed to keep a customer. In fact, they never responded at all.

The black blocks are redacted information (names, case number).

So, they regret my concerns, that REALLY makes me feel better. Adding to the comfort is the fact that they BELIEVE my experience is far from typical. If that were true, would you not be able to support the RARE case that your product does have issues, especially warranty problems?

And, they are unable to reimburse for repairs and misdiagnosis. Let me explain that... The original diagnosis was a failing fan clutch. It smelled like a bad diagnostics based on my experience, but I reluctantly agreed thinking that if I show an attempt to resolve this, we can get through the issues. WHAT A MISTAKE!!! Surging occurred immediately on the drive home from the dealership. And no, I did not immediately take it back, another mistake. I should have left that pile of crap at the dealership every time I heard the engine surge and just not moved as required by my job. Unfortunately, I had to move half way across the country and needed a tow vehicle. These problems had already seriously crushed moving plans. Not to mention a whole lot of camping trips that had to be cancelled, disappointing the kids. What does it mean 'unable to pay' anyways? I was getting dividends as a stock holder from Ford before I ditched the investment in a company that does not value it's customers. Perhaps they were 'unable' to pay because the $1billion dividend payments in an attempt to revitalize their investors. Oh wait, that seems to not be working either. I have an idea...Maybe your investors are leaving because your customers aren't the focus.

So, to summarize according to Ford; this is not typical and we are unable to pay you an insignificant sum of money to attempt to retain a customer. Seems kind of like a four letter response to me. 

Did I mention I am now a Chevrolet owner and get better mileage?

Friday, January 8, 2016

Ford Lost a Loyal Customer

I guess you could say Ford won the battle since I decided to not spend the next few months with legal action. They responded a few weeks late to the previous letter and have yet to respond to the most recent. Regardless of how they acted during the bailouts, I cannot support a company that shows no concern for customers and shareholders. I sold all my Ford stock and now have a Chevy. I should thank Ford I suppose, I have a truck with essentially the same capabilities, but it rides smoother, quieter, and is over 30% more efficient. I will continue to share more of Ford's ridiculous customer service that I experienced so all can see how they handle customer issues.

Monday, December 21, 2015

No News on the F450

Still no news on the F-450. I realized this weekend after reading a complaint from a Ford dealership regarding Ford's advertising of non-Ford collision centers, that perhaps dealerships also feel some of Ford Motor Company's poor customer service. So, I decided that I would give the dealership with the largest piece of history on the vehicle a chance to respond and potentially save some customer relationships.

The letter was delivered to the general manager today which included a cover letter with a brief history and the letter delivered to Ford. Time will tell if Ford or its dealerships will take ownership of the issues and stand by their products.

Friday, December 18, 2015

No news update on 2011 Ford F450

So, still no word from Ford Motor Company regarding the engine surging issues that have been occurring for almost a year that the factory certified technicians have been unable to diagnosis. I was told twice Wednesday alone that someone would reach out to me as soon as possible. Seems more like, maybe sometime if we feel like it. They have known that I wanted to hear from them since November 23.

From Ford Service Facebook Administrator: 
Wednesday, 12/16 - 9:10am - "I've reached out to request that someone contact you as soon as possible." 
3:37pm - "As I requested earlier today, a regional customer service manager will be reaching out to you as soon as they can."

I would think it would not take too long to simply state that they were working on a response. But, I would also think it would be pretty easy to call when you have a customer with a vehicle history like mine, in the shop for over a month. But, apparently that is not part of Ford's #1 goal.

From the 2011 Ford Super Duty Warranty Guide: "Your satisfaction is our #1 goal."