Saturday, May 19, 2012

KOA - Oxford, AL and Dandy RV--Revisited

We had a plan. After camping at DeSoto State Park, we would drop by Dandy RV for a new set of tires for Rosie, our Airstream trailer.

We learned at the Airstream Rally at Georgia's Stone Mountain that you should not rely on tires older than five years. The tires on Rosie were six years-old and they were the specific brand that many people at the rally said we needed to avoid because of a tendency to fail early. We knew we needed to quickly replace our tires, so we scheduled an appointment at Dandy RV to take care of this issue.

Dandy doesn't really sell tires, but they will remove your current tires, take them to a local tire store in Oxford, Alabama, then bring the newly mounted tires back and install them on your trailer. While that sounds complicated, it isn't and it is something that frequently happens when customers bring their trailers back to Dandy.

We called to make a service reservation at Dandy. There were a couple of other things we wanted them to check on Rosie and the timing was perfect since we were going to be camping at Desoto that week.

We needed four tires and Dandy checked with their tire partner--they had exactly four tires of the make and size in stock. In order to reserve the tires, we needed to secure them with our credit card. No problem! We went ahead and purchased the tires two weeks before we would show up for our appointment.

That is the background, now--as Paul Harvey used to say--the rest of the story.

It took great effort, but we arrived at exactly 9:30 a.m., our appointment time. It appeared that things were going well until the service manager came out and said that there was a problem. The tire vendor used by Dandy--the one that secured our tires via our credit card--sold two of the tires. Wait a minute, that means they sold our tires!

Dandy told us that the tire store could have two new tires delivered the next morning. Suddenly, we needed to spend the night in Oxford, Ala.

There is a KOA campground next to Dandy. We elected to stay there for convenience, not because of the park itself.

My parents had a 16 foot Norris travel trailer back in the 1960s. I remember as my parents dragged that trailer all over America that KOA campgrounds were always very special as they had themes and lots of extras. Things may have changed during the past 40 to 50 years.

Granted, the KOA in Oxford is new and they may have grand plans for future additions. Currently, this KOA appears to be a former cow pasture with lots of trailer spots crammed in. And that pretty much sums up that park.

The park was $36 per night when we stayed there. Some in the park grumbled that the rate was more than $100 per night the week before because of the race at Talladega at that time.

So much for the park, now back to Dandy.

The next morning, we had Rosie back to Dandy's service bays. The tire store had the additional tires by early afternoon and we were on the road by 4 p.m.

Although this problem was not created by Dandy, they really tried to take care of us. They were able to negotiate a better deal for us from the tire store and they also took a hit on their service fees.

Yes, it was frustrating to find out that the tire store sold our tires, but Dandy worked hard to make everything right.

While we were at the Stone Mountain Airstream Rally, a camper there saw our Dandy RV tag and asked us if we thought Dandy was a good dealer. We told him that all of our experiences with Dandy were positive and that we felt Dandy really tried to take care of their customers. Having dealt with Dandy again, we continue to tell people that Dandy strives to do the right thing with their customers.

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