Off of the Grid

Adventures in Junction City, OR

While we didn’t intend to stop here in Junction City, we have certainly enjoyed our stay.  First, we have to thank some incredible people who went out of their to rescue us.  Many, many thanks to

  • Tow truck guy (Cant find the receipt but will get the name and update later with all their pertinent info.  You all will want that should you ever need a tow in or around Albany, Eugene, or Junction City.)
  • Gene, AAA Oregon representative (He wasn’t able to help and was the bearer of really bad news, but he did go out of his way to try and help, even after my hysterical screaming on the side of the road.  Most people would have hung up – including ME!)
  • Guaranty RV Sales and Service (Matt and Jeff especially.  Talk about going out of your way!)  http://www.guarantycars.com/
  • Levi the Mobile Bike Repair Guy!
  • Ron out at the philly steak booth at Lone Pine
  • Hentze Farm http://www.hentzefarm.com/

Visualize this:

  • Perimenopasual woman, really tired fussy 18 month old, broken down class C RV on side of road in the middle of nothing, two dogs, 20 something daughter trying not to freak out and husband ‘holding it all together.’

Yup, chaos!  LOL!  Actually, It wasn’t that bad.  Daniel, dogs and baby were in the rig.  I was down calling every RV place I could find in the phone book from a chevron station that was just off the highway on the off chance we would find someone open on a Saturday night after 5pm.   I left about 6 messages for various mechanics and shops till my finger hit upon Guaranty RV Service and Sales.  I called and was transferred to Matt, the Sales Manager.  I think perhaps because the person who answered the phone was a bit alarmed at my presentation. 

     “Matt!  There is a crazy lady on the phone saying something about her RV being stuck on the side of the road.  I’m afraid to talk to her!”

Matt got on the phone and calmly let me know that they not only have a service center, they have a campground where we could stay until the service center opened Monday morning.  YAY!  Salvation!  I had already called a tow truck but had no idea where to have us towed too.  We were at the junction of I-5 Southbound and OR-34…translation-middle of no-where!  As I walked back to the RV to tell Daniel the good news – we had a destination that wasn’t too far away, it occurred to me we should use our AAA RV service to get the tow instead of paying the local fee’s.  DUH!  I got Daniel’s AAA card and called to request a tow.  Meanwhile the tow truck I called from the Chevron station arrived.  I hashed things out with AAA and felt confident that we would have a AAA tow truck soon to take us to Guaranty in Junction City, so sent the non-AAA tow truck away.  The fact that he came all the way from Albany on a Saturday night and did not make us pay the on-site fee was AWESOME!  He takes off.  An hour later, I get a call from AAA Oregon (our service was purchased in WA), saying they aren’t sure they have a tow truck that can handle our RV. 

Huh?  We have one of the smallest RV’s you can purchase.  11′  to 12′ high and 28′ long.  Sounds pretty big till you compare to the Class A’s and the 5th wheels out there.  In many of the Class A’s you can fit two of our RV’s to their one!  They are HUGE!  While I pointed this out to the phone rep – confirming that I had, indeed purchased the RV AAA service, I provided the needed dimensions of our rig.  She then informed me that they would only have room for two people in the tow truck so the remaining people would have to find alternate means to the tow destination.   Now if we were towing a car, this wouldn’t have been a problem.  But we don’t have a car.  So at 6:45pm on a  Saturday night in the Fall, in the middle of no-where, I was going to have to find a way for Meg and I to get to Guaranty. 

“Are their cabs here?”  I start asking the Chevron station manager where I’ve been making my calls.  The only structure around this location.

“Nope.  You’d have to get one from Eugene so you’d be looking at about $50.00 or so minimum.”

“huh…k.”  I literally started going up to people and asking for rides.  In desperation, at 6:55pm, I called Matt at Guaranty again knowing they closed at 7pm.  “Please, I am appealing to your sense of humanity.  We have no ride, no means to get a ride, and we are 34 miles away.  Given that we are going to be spending hundreds, possibly thousands at Guaranty, surely someone there can give us a ride.”

Matt came through.  A Guaranty employee showed up to take Meg and I to the camp area.  All this was great!  With a guarantee that a guy would be around to pick up my daughter and I in about 45 min, I get a call from AAA OR again.   The nice rep informs me that since my policy was purchased in WA, the OR fee’s for our tow would be 5 free miles (they would tow us to a local bar) and then it would then cost $175.00 per hour and they were going to start the clock from when they left their center.  So we’d be looking at a tow cost of $300.00+ … from AAA RV.  Um, excuse me?  Isn’t this why we purchased AAA RV?  So that we wouldn’t have to pay astronomical fee’s like this?  Needless to say, this is where the hysterical woman comes into play.  It’s now after 7pm on Saturday night.  We still don’t have a tow.  Our funds were limited, and with a looming transmission repair bill $300.00 was WAY too much to spend on a tow for 34 miles.  I’ve been towed 100 miles and not paid that much.  Gene, the AAA rep, after listening to my hysterical screaming then tried to get AAA OR to use HIS premium AAA RV membership # so we wouldn’t get charged for the tow.  No go, but it was sure nice of him to try. 

So, who do I call?  The original tow truck guy that came out in the first place two hours ago.  After pleading with them on the phone, we negotiated a reasonable fee for them to come back out.  The guy was awesome.  The Guaranty employee showed up and gave Meg and I a ride, and Daniel and the tow followed about 45 minutes later.  After 4 grueling stress filled hours, we arrived at what would be our temporary home for the next week. 

This post is getting really long so let me shorten it to this:

  • If your RV breaks down within 100 miles of Guaranty, go there.  They are great people, easy to work with, do a great job and demonstrate compassion as well as professionalism.
  • Junction City is a fun place to hang out.  Check out the library, Max’s Coffee Cafe, Hentze Farm, and Abby’s Legendary Pizza.  We were directed to a local pizza place right as we were leaving town.  We’ll have to check that out when we are in Junction City again sometime.

Hentze Farms will be a seperate post.  Yup – they are truly that awesome! 

See you around!

Paula

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One response

  1. You guys have done such a great job rehabilitating your RV. I’m sorry that you got stuck. Is everything repaired? Also are you fulltiming?

    November 8, 2011 at 8:16 pm

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