Monday, February 23, 2009

Las Vegas, RV Oil leak Fixed, Car Towed

Monday: (02/23) Up early to go back to the repair shop. The oil leak persists. I was there when they arrived at 0730. About 0815, the mechanic looked at the leak and tightened the fittings. I was off by 0840. I went over to a nearby shopping center and wiped the hoses and all the oil I saw off the underside of the RV. That isn't easy because the coach sits so low. I have to raise it on leveling blocks for easy access.

I then took it for a short drive and rechecked it. No or little improvement. I returned to the shop. They re-examined it and ask me to return tomorrow and they will replace some seals. It's a good thing I'm retired and am not in any hurry. I worked at the computer programming while I waited, much the same as any recent morning.

I returned home to the Sunset Station and advised Lou I was back. She was out examining more thrift stores.

I usually access the Internet using the HughesNet satellite system on the RV. I decided to try the WiFi signal I saw from the Sunset Station Hotel. It allowed complementary access. Now that's the way it should be. Thanks Sunset Station. Using their access saves me some power and is faster. These hotel Internet services are usually a pay as you go service.

Today has been mostly broken cloud cover. That's much better for solar generation that yesterdays continuous thick cloud cover. Since I've been back here in Las Vegas and even since Lou returned, we haven't used the generator at all until yesterday. It wasn't actually necessary but when I tested the generator after I put it back together I just ran it a while to fully recharge, it was running nice and smooth for a change.

Lou returned and we enjoyed leftovers for lunch. Baked potatoes and a little steak form Jerry's dinner and some more steak from yesterday's breakfast.

We move the valuables out of the RV to the car and I changed the air filter in the car, something I haven't done before. Quite interesting getting it out and in, requires removal of far too much stuff.

We spent most of the evening chatting with some of our neighbors from St George, Ut,  Waid and Cheri. They were originally from Seattle but are now retired and living in St George.

Our supper was sauteed asparagus and some cheese. Very good.

Tuesday: (02/24) We got up at 6am and, though it would normally be shower day, we deferred the shower because I'll probably be crawling under the RV later to test the leak repair. We had breakfast of pancakes eggs and sausage and bacon at the casino cafe for $4.99. It was good and quick.

We drove on over to the shop at Desert Inn and Maryland by 0730. After the usual morning car shuffle to clear room for the RV and get access to what they were working on they got to work on the RV. It looks like it may take a while. I'm working away at the computer and Lou's reading quite comfortably inside the RV while they tinker below. I wish them and us luck today.

About 10am, Lou took off to visit the Aardvark Clay shop. The first attempt to stop the leak failed so about 11am, I saw the mechanic walking away from the RV with the steel oil lines. Looks like they're getting serious. About 2pm they were back with parts and shortly said it was ready. Lou had returned shortly before they finished. She helped me back the RV out of the lot and I pulled around the corner to wipe everything down underneath so I can be sure there are no leaks. It looks like they may have got it stopped. That's the good news. After four visits to the shop the leak is stopped. We may finally be able to get out  of town, but not too far until we're sure the patches hold.

And then there was some bad things that happened. Lou's car was stolen from the garage parking lot while I was wiping up under the RV. At least  that's our opinion. The clerk of the convenience store or the garage manager called to have her car towed because they said it was abandoned there all day. She had just returned after a four hour absence about 20 minutes previously. As she was walking back to get it she saw it leaving on the tow truck. She complained to the clerk at the store that shares the site with the garage.  The clerk claimed it was there all day and called to have it towed. So we called the posted phone number and they said they didn't tow it. Now, loosing that car wouldn't be quite so bad if it didn't contain everything of value that we had moved to it because the RV was being worked on. After a couple of attempts to contact the towing company and not getting any results we called 911 and reported the car stolen. About 10 minutes later the police called back and gave us the phone number of the towing company. We finally found the impound lot and inquired about getting the car back. When they said it would cost $200, needless to say we were not pleased. We asked for a copy of their authorization to tow and a copy of the laws authorizing the tow. The attendant got huffy and said he didn't have to provide anything. We explained he did and said the police might be able to help. He than demanded we leave. We did call the police. About 10 minutes later the attendant came out and gave us some of the information requested just as the police showed up. The police went in looked at the information and logs that they wouldn't show us and said it was a legal tow and that if we disagreed then it was a civil matter not a legal one. How odd. We paid the extorted fee and requested the police standby to receive the stolen property report if anything was missing  from the car. Nothing was. We were finally on our way $200 more poor and with much higher blood pressure. Just before 5pm. Now, because of an incompetent clerk at the store we now have to sue the store and or garage and  likely the towing service and the police for the illegal tow. It is more than obvious that someone somewhere is getting kickbacks. According to the police, if there is a sign that says they may tow they can for any reason even just to get the kickback. It doesn't matter if it was legally parked or you were doing business with them at the time. I tend to think that isn't actually the case and will check on the actual law tomorrow. They evidently don't realize how much free time I have. I've spent days working to get a $5 parking fine returned because it was unjust. If something is unjust it makes me mad enough to spend any amount of time to correct it. Of course, that is the current opinion and reality may settle in tomorrow.

No Trespassing Sign Tow Away Sign
The offending signs. These are posting in the parking area of the mini mart and garage parking lot. The place was open for business and we were an active customer if leaving $700 there is active.

Desert Inn Mini mart Toad After The Tow
The mini mart above left, Our car survived the tow without noticable damage other than greasy hand prints.

Don's DI Auto Service Desert Inn Mini mart
More views of the Desert Inn Mini Mart and Don's DI Auto Service. While we might have recommended the Don's DI Auto Service prior to our fourth visit and the towing of our car, we wouldn't recommend them now. They did eventually fix the oil leak and they didn't complain about having to do followup repairs, the towing leaves a sour taste.

Silver State Towing Yard Illegally Parked Tow Truck (Red Zone)
Silver State Towing is obviously now a reputable business. Their yard is shown above left and one of their several illegally parked trucks out in front of it. The LV Metro PD are not to good either since they didn't and don't ticket the illegally parked vehicles even when they were pointed out.

We returned the RV to the Sunset. I hope they don't tow it. We had dinner at Friday's and went to the Fremont Street Experience for a while for Mardi Gras. The Don McLean American Pie video on the roof on Fremont Street was excellent.

We found something that has been missing from the Show In The Sky at the Rio. One of my favorite entertainers was the whistle blowing stilt walker. She was down on Fremont street doing her thing there now dressed as a 10' tall fairy.

We returned home by 11pm. The visit downtown helped lower the blood pressure. I do hope the leak is fixed because we don't want to ever return to Don's Di Auto Service.

Wednesday: (02/25) More Don McMuffins for breakfast. While Wade and I chatted much of the morning, Lou and Cheri went over to the the thrift stores for a visit. Just before lunch I moved the RV down to Sunset Park. Lou drove the car. We looked around and found a good spot to park big enough for the RV to be within the parking spot and not in a red zone. We're kind of paranoid. We noticed lots of people all around the park throwing Frisbees. Kind of odd. There were also lots of metal posts with chains hanging from them all around the park. What were they. I finally couldn't resist and ask one of the groups if they were playing golf with Frisbees. They were. It's called disc ball. It's played exactly like golf. They even have different Frisbees for different purposes much like a bag of clubs. Putter disks.  Drivers. Discs to curve right or left. They carry a bag of of disks around like a golf bag. It looks like a lot of fun.

Anyway, we had chosen a parking spot next to one of the tees and in the path of one of the holes. The course director asked us to move. We said we searched all over and this was the only suitable spot due to all the red curbs. He called the park ranger and got permission for us to park else where. After the RV was set up Lou stayed and worked on her dolls using the kiln to fire them as needed.

I went on a tour. First stop was the place that had our car towed. I got the owner's name to make a refund request for the towing fees.  Next stop was the police department. The Desk sergeant advised that towing companies are regulated by the Attorney General's office with a phone number and a probable address. I went to the location which was the State Office Building. I visited the Attorney General's office and got the name address and phone number of  the person that regulates the operators at the Nevada Transportation Administration. I drove over to their office and spoke to an investigator and filed a complaint against the towing company.

Evidently this is just a big scam going on in Las Vegas as in many other cities. One of the local TV channels is making a lot of reports exposing these shenanigans. The tow operators evidently pay finder fees to the owners/employees that call in the towing requests. All this is really meaningless to us because you still have to pay up to get your vehicle and getting the money back requires a lawsuit. Something is wrong here. Is it just me or does this look like it has  to involve elected officials and government officials as well? This may take a while!

I returned to the park and we packed up and returned to the Sunset Station Casino for dinner at the buffet, a two for one night and to stay the night. It will be nice to escape these buffets.

Thursday: (02/26) Final preparations to leave today. We did our laundry and then had breakfast at the Fiesta Casino on Lake Mead Blvd. We did our final grocery shopping and then hooked up and headed on over to Lake Mead. Not too sure exactly where we'll camp but there is a campground by the lake just 8 miles East of where we are.

No comments:

Post a Comment