March 11th 2020
Ok, what would you do? You have just loaded up the freezer portion of your refrigerator with enough food to provide us almost enough meals to get us back close to Ontario. Miss Laurie made a big lasagna and portioned it to be frozen, just froze some chicken and chops … like the freezer is real full. And the fridge has quit … oh ya and we are in the desert near Quartzsite Arizona.
Here is how my day unfolded:
08:30 – remove the suspected control board from the refrigerator
08:45 – unhook the towed and head to Quartzsite
09:10 – the RV repair shop doesn’t have a new control board
09:15 – his supplier has six boards in Phoenix
09:20 – I find an ATM because he doesn’t take plastic
09:40 – part paid for, address in hand, off to Phoenix
12:05 – arrive at supplier (traffic was bad – heavy rain)
12:20 – part in hand off to Arizona Land Office for camping permit
12:40 – locate Land office – signing into get visitor pass
12:45 – locate camp permit office – fill out camping form
12:50 – pay fee – receive camping permit
12:55 – sign out of office – return visitor pass
13:00 – headed back to Quartzsite (just have to get back on I-10)
13:10 – back on the interstate ( still raining quite heavy)
14:05 – stopped for fuel for the towed and a sub for me – has quit raining
15:35 – arrive back at our campsite (can see the rain coming)
15:45 – new board installed – fridge has fired up instantly
15:50 – tools all put away – starting to rain
So less that twenty hours after the refrigerator quiting, we are back up and running, no harm no foul. By not opening any refrigerator doors at all, to check on things we reduced the risk of loss of any items. So in reality the repair took less that twenty minutes to remove and reinstall the refrigerator control board. But it took me seven hours to actually get the job done, and it always makes me laugh, as soon as the repair shop realized they didn’t have the board in stock, then they were questioning me as to whether I was sure it was the control board … but if they had the part in stock they would have just sold it to me, and never would have questioned my diagnosis.
Now I have an advantage over most people, with many years of diagnostic work, and many more years learning lessons from the school of hard knocks. So if you had to call a repair shop, you could hope for a repair technician by noon, and if he was good at his trade, he would diagnose the problem order the part, if you were lucky the part would get installed the next day, but depending on shipping it could be the day after. How much would that cost in lost food? The cost of the repair I would expect to cost around $500.00 the part was $250, I would expect the service call, diagnostics, the repair, and possible shipping cost to make up the difference.
You can never be totally prepared for every thing that is going to break or quit, and almost every appliance has a control board that is designed for each specific model and in many cases, specific serial number ranges … so in reality service shops or technicians can not be expected to carry every one. So we have to be willing to wait or expedite the needed part to fill each requirement, in this case it included a five plus hour trip to Phoenix, but each circumstance will be different, and your location one of the biggest factors. Amazon is great but only works when you can receive the item … there are no mail boxes in the desert.
We finished the evening with a pizza from Silly Al’s with the Bannon’s, it was good to catch up on what has been happening, as we will not likely get a chance once we head east. It’s amazing to imagine but five weeks has us crossing the border back into Ontario.