We just left the Freightliner Service Center in Gaffney, SC where we had our first year service completed. It’s strange, but Freightliner figures your service date from the time the chassis is manufactured, not the date of sale. We didn’t take delivery of our coach until October but it was manufactured in May so we decided to get it serviced, as we knew we would be traveling near Gaffney this month. You can get service at any Freightliner center but many of these centers prefer servicing the commercial truck line and give priority to them over RV’s. The Gaffney service center has six bays and only works on RV’s.
I was pleased with the customer service and professionalism displayed by the employees here. From check in and throughout the entire service process everyone was attentive to questions about anything involving your vehicle. I even went out to the service bay when it was in the air and the tech showed me exactly what he had done for the one year service. They not only do the chassis, but also the Cummins engine, Allison transmission, and Onan generator. So it’s one stop shopping. However, if they find an “internal” issue with the Cummins or Allison products it will have to be addressed at one of their facilities. Unfortunately, one poor soul had to have his coach towed off to Allison Transmission.
They have 20 electrical hookups and a dump station with potable water available. I wanted four corner weights on my coach so I filled it full of fuel before we arrived. I also emptied the gray and black tanks, and filled the fresh water tank so I could see what the maximum weight on the front axle is. It is first come first served for the camping spaces and you can stay as long as needed to complete your service. The place was almost full the entire time we were there. There was never more than one or two spots in the camping area available and there were usually other RV’s in a staging area waiting for service.
Since I have a rear radiator, I thought that they would have do some work from the engine access door in the rear bath but everything is serviced from below while it is on the lift. The tech said that they would have to use that access door in the bathroom for a belt change, but that is about it. Other than changing the fuel filter and maybe the water separator filter in an emergency, this work is for someone with the right equipment to make it easy. I certainly wouldn’t want to deal with 27 quarts of oil. One guy in our group has a 600 hp Allegro Bus that holds 54 quarts of oil. Yikes!!
I also took advantage of their Camp Freightliner training course while there. It is a two day class that gives you an overview of your chassis, engine and transmission so you better understand how it works and how to keep it running smoothly. This course, which costs $175 for one and $225 if your co-pilot wants to attend, has become so popular that it has to be booked months in advance. I booked both my service and the class on December 1st of last year and was one of the last one’s to get into it. After taking it, I can say that it was definitely worth the money. It would have taken me a long time to learn what was taught in those two days. It is also a great time to interact with other Freightliner owners and to learn from their experiences. More information is available on the Freightliner site at the link below:
If you have a Freightliner Chassis make sure that you sign up for their website which gives you access to specific information on your unit based on the VIN. It will also enable you to see all the schematics and a parts list. You can also bring up any recalls or service bulletins. To sign up go to DTNA Connect at the below link and follow directions as a new user.
If you join the Freightliner Chassis Owners Club (FCOC) you will get a 5% discount at the Gaffney center and a 10% discount at other Freightliner Oasis centers. The Gaffney location doesn’t give as big a discount because their labor rate is already lower than the other centers. The Oasis centers are the Freightliner service centers that have agreed to handle the RV chassis’ in addition to the commercial trucks. Although any Freightliner Service Center can be used, they may not be as amenable to RV’s as the one’s designated as Oasis. FCOC link below:
The service is not inexpensive, but I feel that I have paid a lot of money for this vehicle and we depend on it for travel and living so it is wise to follow the service schedule. It is a complex mechanical beast that can’t be ignored in the same manner as many of us do with service for our cars. I believe the fact that I will have up to date service records will also help if we ever decide to resell the vehicle.
Liz wasn’t interested in attending the class so she took advantage of the outlet mall shopping which is near the center. To my surprise, in addition to a unique water tower, Gaffney also has quite a few good restaurants which we enjoyed during the time we were there. Just don’t try to buy a beer anywhere on Sunday!
Off to Mama Gertie’s Hideaway in Asheville, NC