It’s taken us weeks to build up to this one. In our last post, we were so full of excitement…so optimistic…because we had rented this awesome RV to take our employees down to Austin for the SXSW show. Well, excitement and optimism wanes quickly into pessimism and dismay in this post.

I’ll start from the beginning and try to be brief. We rented what we thought was a killer RV from a reputable RV rental company, Quest RV. It was a 39 foot, 2007 Ventana and judging by looks alone, this thing was PIMP. Unfortunately, pimp turned into to pimp-slap 45 minutes into our journey. Yes, that’s right…just south of Dallas the son-of-a-bitch broke down. The dashboard lit up with warnings like “STOP ENGINE” and alarms were sounding. You know, the kind of stuff you don’t exactly want to see when driving a $300,000 vehicle. (Not to mention, driving something that big isn’t exactly what we were used to…so we’re a bit nervous to begin with.) So, we pull over and call Quest who says they’ll send help. They did and 3 1/2 hours later, we’re back on the road.

Ok, so yeah, we’re off to a bad start. It was Friday the 13th. Maybe that had something to do with it. Who knows? Oh well, press on, right? This is still gonna be a blast. Until…OOPS! 5 miles later, the alarms sound again with the same warnings but we’re told to keep going and that it “should be nothing.” Awesome. Was it “nothing” last time, too? Glad we burned a 3 1/2 hour segment for “nothing.”

We do finally make it to Austin, we pay our $130 a day to park, we do our trade show. On Sunday Ron and I bail from the tradeshow in the RV to take our families camping in our expensive motor home for a couple nights…leaving our employees to run the trade show. This part of the trip went off without a hitch. Then we go back to Austin to pick up crew #1 to return them to Dallas where crew #2 anxiously awaits so we can bring them back down to Austin for the second leg of SXSW. We’re rolling now, right? Wrong.

On our way home, we make it as far as Hillsboro, which is about an hour south of Dallas. I pull in to a truck stop to fill up with diesel and mistakenly turn off the engine. Why is that a mistake? Because the RV won’t start again, that’s why. Turns out the push-button transmission is now on the fritz. So we’re stuck there AT THE GAS PUMP for 5 hours while Quest RV brings us a different RV. This completely screws our schedule and crew #2 had to drive down to Hillsboro to meet us so crew #1 could drive themselves back to Dallas. BEATING! (And thanks to all of the LinkWorthers that helped us through that!!)

To everyone’s credit (except mine and maybe Ron’s), they all took it in stride and were super-excited to be heading down to Austin in this nice rig. Ron takes the wheel for this leg and no sooner had we gotten on the highway before an entirely new set of alarms lit up the dashboard like a Christmas tree. Seriously??? Are you joking??? Another call to Quest’s weary service tech assures us that this must be nothing and to simply “keep an eye on the gauges.” Wonderful….confidence abounds. NOT!

Again we make it to Austin (although MUCH later than we had planned) and parked the RV. (It does work perfectly while parked, I should add.) We do the rest of the trade show, we pack up the crew and all of our stuff, and we depart Austin. Heading home now, killer. It’s been a long week!

Ahem…we’re approaching Hillsboro again. Guess what? All of our lights (including headlights) begin to grow alarmingly dim. It’s 10pm…we can’t see a thing….and we must pull this f*$#in’ bus over AGAIN. This time, though, we’re not in the cozy bosom of a truck stop. No, sadly, we’re in the seedy confines of a XXX shop’s parking lot. (KILL ME NOW.) Another phone call to Quest, whose number I still have memorized, results in our using a backup power-system on board the RV that “should” get us home without problem. It does. Now for the fun stuff….

At some point in our journey, I put a nasty scrape on the driver’s side of the RV. Not exactly sure how it happened, but it’s there and I am more than happy to part ways with the $1000 deductible for the insurance we had purchased. I just wanted to be done with it. But, Quest felt a little differently. In addition to the deductible, they wish to charge me an additional $2400 for “loss of use” while the RV is being repaired. Mind you, this thing is not out of commission…it’s scratched! It had some scratches when we got it, too, but they sure as hell still let us drive off in it. So, that’s a LOAD OF SHIT, to put it mildly. Did I ask for reimbursement for the 12 hours of our “loss of use”??? No. Hell, I didn’t even ask for an apology, but they were more than happy to slap me in the face with this ridiculous charge.

In the end, we had to split this “loss of use” charge with them in addition to paying our deductible. We’re none too happy and as a result, we have bestowed upon Quest RV a LinkWorth Hall of Shame award.

RV really does stand for “ruins vacations.”