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Old 02-23-2011, 02:07 PM   #1
pbahlin
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New U-Bolts

At the 2010 national rally we discovered that Dexter/Montana have changed the U-Bolts on new models to ones that have a flat where they contact the axle. This is a rally nice improvement as it reduces the tendency of the (former) round cross section ones to loosen over time as they wear.

Well I ordered a new set of these things as part of my plan to upgrade my suspension to the latest and greatest. Unfortunately I've run smack into the wacky world of RV supply chain.

I talked to a very nice customer service rep who was unsure of the proper part number for my rig so I was transferred to engineering. There I talked to a very nice engineer who took my axle part #s, rig type (big sky), and axle rating (7000 lbs.). He provided me with the proper part no. and I was returned to customer service ready to complete my order. I asked for eight U-bolts, provided the part no. and all was cool.

Until my parts came in.

Apparently the rep misunderstood my order, probably on the assumption that my rig was a Big Sky Unicycle. I got one u-bolt! No problem. I just called the nice customer service rep. She had no explanation for the foul up but agreed to send out 7 more of the u-bolts. Same part number and no charge. Sweet!

I got the seven bolts and today was the day to do the deed so I replaced the first bolt. Everything went nicely. Then I opened the bag of seven and replaced the next one. Not so fast Skippy. These new ones are an inch too short.

On the phone again with the customer rep I learned that I was given the wrong part number. Apparently the bolt that was sent for my unicycle was the wrong one. Well it was the right one but had the wrong number, unlike my new ones which are the wrong ones with the right number. Sighhhhhhhhh.

Now she wants the right, wrong ones back and she wants to credit my account when they come back. The problem with this is that when she got all embarrassed about sending the wrong quantity she said she'd ship the 7 out and not charge me for them. Now I'm getting a credit for the right, wrong ones that I wasn't charged for.

If you're not confused by now, you're not really trying very hard.

Anyway, just thought you all might want the new U-bolts and wanted to make sure you allow yourself two to three weeks to get the parts. And, if you'd like my old ones they're for sale. I'm selling them in sets of two. That way if you want to upgrade your unicycle you'll have a spare and if you're putting them on a bicycle, just right. You can't have them for your rig because I don't recommend them for fifth wheels.
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Old 02-23-2011, 02:25 PM   #2
ole dude
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Now, that's a good, funny tale.
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Old 02-23-2011, 03:28 PM   #3
SlickWillie
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Isn't it amazing that some businesses can stay in business in spite of themselves?
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Old 02-23-2011, 04:46 PM   #4
c214dick
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32 years in wholesale auto parts and nothing surprises me LOL.
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Old 02-24-2011, 03:14 AM   #5
capn chris
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Good one, Paul. Nothing is easy w/RVs, is it?!! Good thing you don't have to be in a hurry?!!
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Old 02-24-2011, 03:43 AM   #6
mail2us
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Paul, your tale is why I paid Mor/ryde to install our wet bolts while at a Fall Rally. You unfortunately had to go thru too many doors or people. Good luck on your efforts. Dennis
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Old 02-24-2011, 04:03 AM   #7
Illini Trekker
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Now I know who wrote, Who's on first, What's on second, I Don't Knows on third. Wait many some relations of Abbott and Costello work at Keystone?
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Old 02-24-2011, 04:57 AM   #8
Ren
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Hahaha... thats pretty good. Ya cant deduct points from trying I guess.
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Old 02-24-2011, 06:05 AM   #9
pbahlin
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I never mentioned it but this all is happening with Dexter. Didn't want to leave the impression that this was a Keystone Cops story.

And by the way, my old u-bolt (from the unicycle) was beginning to show signs of a flat spot where it contacted the axle. This, I suspect, is why they made the change and why the things don't seem to hold torque.

In case you need another chuckle, I tried to get these things while I was in Goshen. I went to the Dexter headquarters and inquired about u-bolts. I was naive, thinking that Dexter was sort of small time and all their facilities would be in one spot. Turns out they've got facilities all over the place and the person I asked didn't have a clue about what a u-bolt is. She said, "We don't make u-bolts. We make axles."

I said, "Oh, really?" and left without further disturbance, realizing that I would never get a u-bolt in person. They're not really set up at all to deal with actual end users. I'm sure if I had a suit on I could have had a high level meeting about u-bolts but the guys who know what they are didn't work in that building.
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Old 02-24-2011, 09:30 AM   #10
Pete Hanson
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Sorry about your quandry but truly a funny story the way you told it. Unfortunately this happens all too often in this "new world" we live in.
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Old 02-24-2011, 10:06 AM   #11
pbahlin
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Update:

It gets worse!

I received an RMA from Dexter authorizing me to ship the wrong right parts back. It notes that there will be new parts sent out 5 days from now (don't ask)with a new part number I've never been exposed to before. I'm sure I'll be waiting for the new right wrong right parts until well into March. And, oh by the way, send them back by US mail on my dime.

NOT!
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Old 02-24-2011, 10:23 AM   #12
Bill-N-Donna
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Uh, nice story, I think! If I have it figured out correctly it sounds like you will get most of the U bolts for free? Good deal!

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Old 02-24-2011, 11:51 AM   #13
swanny
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WHAT???? WHO????? When?????

sad isn't it.
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Old 03-06-2011, 02:11 PM   #14
pbahlin
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Well, finally got my new U-bolts. Sighhhhhhh! As expected, these aren't the correct ones either. These are longer than the originals by about 1/2 inch.

Fortunately there's enough thread (and head room) to use them without a problem. The #$%#$%^s finally wore me down. I'll just use a deep socket and say a little prayer for all you young folks out there that have many more years of this kind of service to look forward to. I'm going to crank 'em up to 70 lbs. and go have a Stella.
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Old 03-07-2011, 04:06 AM   #15
capn chris
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Good luck, Paul. Hope it all works out. Maybe you can get Bob and Bill to help, or keep you company?!!
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Old 03-07-2011, 01:56 PM   #16
bw2
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Chris,

Bill & I did help, we said we had ours installed by someone else!!!!
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Old 03-07-2011, 02:44 PM   #17
pbahlin
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I've noticed that when I get out a few small tools, like a screwdriver or pen knife I get lots and lots of people that stop to 'help'. Everybody wants to know what I'm up to and can they assist. When I get big tools out, like socket set, hammers, jacks, etc. Bob and Bill would just drive by with their bikes racked up on the truck and wave, on their way to some parking lot where they most likely call back to the park to see when I'm finished.

Then just as I'm out cleaning my hands they drive by again with another friendly wave. Hmmmmmmm......
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Old 03-08-2011, 04:30 AM   #18
bw2
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Paul, how quickly you figured us out!!! I thought we were more sly than that!!
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Old 03-08-2011, 01:08 PM   #19
Exnavydiver
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So Paul, what did the right wrong right wrong right whatever stock number for the parts and can they still be gotten from Dexter? Or should we wait till Sept and all walk in as a group and hold a sit in??
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Old 03-08-2011, 02:58 PM   #20
pbahlin
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First off, let me say I don't trust any of these numbers at this point but here goes....

My first order for 8 which ended up being just 1 was labeled 011-017-01 and the description was...

U-Bolt 1/2 -20 6.63" long 3" dia tube

And that is exactly what it measured. They measure the length from the inside of the U to the end of the thread.

My second order (for 7) came in with exactly the same part # and description but they were in fact just a bit under 6" long and were to short to catch more than just a few threads.

My third order came in with part # 011-018-00 and the description was...

U-Bolt 1/2 -20 7.05" long 3" dia tube

These were too long but the description appeared to be correct and they worked with a deep socket.

The original two orders were finished with black phos[phorous] and oil. The final order (too long) appeared to have no finish other than oil coating.

As for the rally, I tried to get them there but the rep at the rally had none with him. I would like to suggest to them that they put some of this info up on their web site which is a decent site but pretty much brochure ware and not fit for really doing your own analysis. Try to find the Torq and Go nuts for example. I only found them by doing a google search which took me to a Dexter brochure on a page on their site which I couldn't find by navigating the site.
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