Thursday, September 1, 2011

RV Repair & Maintenance

We may not own a regular home anymore, so we don’t have mortgage payments or utility bills, but we do still have to deal with home repair & maintenance!  Here is a list of what we have had to repair or replace so far:

1-two tires – one with a bubble & one with a rip (about $150 each)

2-converter-we are finally getting this replaced here in Twin Falls, Idaho this week.  Thank goodness that we won’t have power issues any more!  Just in time, too, when we’re headed to Yellowstone where we won’t have electric hookups, so we wouldn’t be able to use our battery charger to keep things working. (would cost $460 but is covered under our extended warranty minus our $50 deductible).  

3-front leg/jack for the RV  (about $300)

4-broken window-We still haven’t fixed this one yet.  When backing into a friend’s driveway, Steve got into a tangle with a tree that broke the window on Shanan’s bunk.  Fortunately, it was something he was able to patch up until we are ready to replace it.   We hope to replace with plexiglass.

In addition to these big issues, when we were in Clarkston we learned about some maintenance issues that we  needed to play catch up on.   

a)  Our roof needed to be cleaned and treated.   This was a huge job and took Steve about 10+ hours total to complete.   He scrubbed all the grime off using Bon Ami and Simple Green.  We should have taken before & after pics; it looks amazing!  All those dead mosquitoes plastered to the front since Minnesota are finally gone!  Don't worry; I'm sure we'll acquire more, but they should be easier to clean off now that it's waxed.  

b)  We also learned that we should keep the RV waxed.   Of course you can't wax it until it is clean.  Our decals also need to be treated for UV so they don't peel off with age.  

c)  We discovered we needed a second battery if we wanted to make it through the night using the heat while in Yellowstone with no electric & no generator use between 8pm & 8am.    This was relatively easy but cost us about $120.   

d)  Since we bought the RV Steve noticed that there is liquid that spills from the waste tanks when opening the tank to attach to a sewer or dump station.   In the front our black tank seeps a bit (Yes, totally disgusting), and in the back, our galley tank (gray water) leaks a lot.  When I say leak, I mean the valve does not quite close all the way.   We have a sealed bottom, so this is a hard fix.   To correct this issue, Steve installed secondary valves near the end of the pipes.   See photos below.

e)  The people that did the converter showed Steve how to maintain the hot water heater.   We haven't done it yet but we need to replace a metal thingee that gets corroded instead of the tank.   

If this isn't enough, today we discovered that if we let our gray #1 tank get completely full then it will leak water into the underbody.   Needless to say, we were very concerned and frustrated when this happened.  Thankfully Steve saw the mobile repairman who installed the converter in the park about to help another customer.   He explained that the seal at the top that leads to the stack in the roof probably leaks.   He said if we never let it get full then we should be okay.  

Guess what, still not done.  When we were leaving someone stopped us and let us know the that one of our tires was low.   Steve went back to our site and got the air compressor out and filled up the tire.  It looked fine after we gave it about 30lbs of air.  We then drove to our next site 57 miles away and when we arrived and were parking, Steve noticed that he could hear the tire leaking.   It must have just happened because it was leaking fast.   He got the jack under the axle and put the spare on.   Tomorrow he is going to get that tire patched and put it on the spare rim, and then put the spare on the regular rim.   It was a total blessing that the tire didn't go flat on the road!  Thank you Lord!

I think all these repair issues are getting to him.  I hope we can have a long break from any kind of RV issues!

Front waste tank with inline valve ($20)
Rear waste tanks with valve attachment ($40)
Window in Shanan's bunk broken in Spokane
Clean and treated roof, all 39.25 feet of it!
Bug free front, and waxed as well.   99% of the bugs were from the Minnesota leg of our trip.

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