johnny November 13th, 2008
A couple of months back, we posted about three guys that got laid off from the Northwood of Virginia factory and have gone into the repair business. Well, we still needed a few things fixed because of problems with our appliance vendors and had a few days left on our warranty, so we figured it would be a good time to visit Bruce, Jerry and Roger again. I’m happy to say they had about a half dozen RVs in for repairs – primarily insurance claims and warranty work. Fortunately for us, everything they had sitting was because they were waiting for parts to arrive, so they had some time to work on our fan and air conditioner without having to wait.
We’ve been working on their website for a few days and instead of trying to figure out how much to charge a start-up that we really want to see succeed, we talked them into doing some customization on the camper. You’ve seen my oh-so-humble efforts on the liquor cabinet, so let’s just say I was thrilled to see what they made of my request to add a spice rack. And here I was about ready to buy some wire and plastic contraption from Wal-Mart!
Along with the lack of a spice rack for Jenn’s insane collection of spices, I’ve always been annoyed by the main pantry. Sure, it’s fairly large for a truck camper, but the shelves are about eighteen inches deep with a two foot counter in front of them. It’s just plain difficult to reach things in the back of the cabinet… much less see what they are without removing everything in front of them. With the addition of a spice rack, we were able to sacrifice a little bit of shelf space and have Winchester RV Repair install a set of drawers in the cupboard that look like they came that way from the factory. Now, we can just slide out a drawer and have easy access to anything inside.
My final gripe was more of a design problem with Northwood’s truck camper couches. There is basically one small piece of iron on each side and the cushioning inside the couch separating it from the storage compartments and furnace underneath. Maybe it’s not a problem for the average vacationer, but when you sit on the couch day in and day out, the couch begins to sag permanently into the empty space below. Roger and Jerry cut a sheet of plywood to fit beneath the couch that solves the problem quite nicely. I’m no longer in fear of being eaten by the couch if I don’t stand up every fifteen minutes!
I can’t recommend Bruce, Jerry and Roger enough. Aside from decades of factory experience, they’ve done things like retro-fit a log cabin with RV comforts and gutting vintage motorhomes to change the entire floorplan while modernizing the RV systems. I’ve got to work up a list for oddball requests the next time we’re in Northern Virginia. Bruce says no electric chairs or jacuzzis in a truck camper, but I bet I could talk them into an external water pump and filter system for filling the tanks from the nearest stream. Where were these guys when I wanted to retrofit that UPS truck?!