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Category: RV Repair

CAMPFIRE STORIES – “Broken Down on the Key Bridge”

November 16, 2012 by · 2 Comments 

CAMPFIRE STORIES – “Broken Down on the Key Bridge”

Sitting around a campfire with a group of old friends or new acquaintances inevitably brings out personal stories that speak of the trials, tribulations and adventures we all encounter during our RV travels.  Such was the case last week as a group gathered on a cool November night.   That’s when Allan shared the unfortunate but somewhat humorous adventure he, his dog and wife endured as they crossed the Frances Scott Key Bridge in Washington, D.C.:   We are finally underway to meet our fellow Cedar Creek RV Owners Club friends for our End of Year Rally at   Willow Tree Resort in South Carolina.  Our Terrier, Duffy, and I really needed this getaway.  We had planned getaways earlier this fall but had to cancel them for my hernia operation and my son’s spinal surgery.  Then, we were forced to delay our departure for this trip when Hurricane Sandy caused a blackout at our home. The ride from our home in PA to Willow Tree normally takes about 10 hours.  I was so looking... [Read more...]

DO NOT LET THIS HAPPEN TO YOU!

May 22, 2012 by · 6 Comments 

DO NOT LET THIS HAPPEN TO YOU!

Kevin and Debbie Clark own a 2011 Chevy 2500 pick-up with a full-length bed.  The truck is used to tow their 2009 Cardinal fifth wheel trailer. Kevin is extremely proud of his metallic silver truck and is meticulous about how he connects to his trailer.  The fifth wheel hitch is a Reese 22K set on bed rails bolted to the bed and frame of the truck.  The set-up is strong and easily handles the trailer in both braking and hard pulling maneuvers. . Kevin’s checklist includes: ●    opening the tailgate ●    chocking the trailer wheels ●    setting the trailer kingpin to the height of the hitch jaws ●    releasing the handle to close the hitch jaws ●    carefully backing into the trailer kingpin while watching for the actuation of the jaw handle to move out and then back in indicating that the jaws have latched tightly around the kingpin. ●    Push the jaw locking lever down on the release handle ●    Raise the front landing jacks about an inch off the... [Read more...]

AN ELEPHANT ON ROLLER SKATES – Taking care of E-Z Lube Wheel Bearings on Your Towable.

April 7, 2012 by · 6 Comments 

AN ELEPHANT ON ROLLER SKATES – Taking care of E-Z Lube Wheel Bearings on Your Towable.

Can you imagine an Elephant on Roller Skates? Besides being able to actually stand-up and skate, the sheer weight of an elephant on the small axles, bearings, and wheels of roller skates brings images of frequently broken parts to my mind (Elephant on Roller Skates sketch by James Suhr) . Realistically, a large towable riding on a conventional spindle and bearing system isn’t much different than putting an elephant on roller skates.  That is a lot of weight for such small parts to handle. Specially designed parts to handle the weight and suspension abuse our fast deteriorating highways inflict on our RV towables is a must.  But, without proper maintenance, those parts will fail.  Wheel bearings are constantly being exposed to water, dirt and heat – all enemies of even the best engineering designs. A ritual that is performed at least on an annual basis with our towable is inspecting and repacking the wheel bearings.  Thankfully, two newer wheel-bearing styles used in the RV industry... [Read more...]

WHEN BAD THINGS HAPPEN – IT IS GOOD TO HAVE FRIENDS AROUND

March 30, 2012 by · 4 Comments 

WHEN BAD THINGS HAPPEN – IT IS GOOD TO HAVE FRIENDS AROUND

Somewhere between Little Rock, AR and Carrabelle, FL two cross members that support the frame rails on our fifth wheel broke. Initially, I could not tell there was something wrong because the plastic belly panels covered the problem area making it impossible to notice the broken welds. Our first indication that there was a problem occurred when we attempted to open the curbside living room slide and it would not extend.  My inspection of the problem resulted in a major shock – the axles under the camper had moved at least 3” toward the left side and the drive rod for the slide-out had been bent by the tire.  The tire was ruined and all six spring hangers had bent to approximately a 75 degree angle – they should be 90 degrees to the frame rails. In case you haven’t caught on yet, this is a MAJOR problem that could easily result in many thousands of dollars for repairs and the loss of use of the camper for “who knows how long”.  One thing for sure – we were not going to be... [Read more...]

DO I REALLY NEED TO TAKE THAT? Must have tools and parts for RV Camping

March 17, 2012 by · 4 Comments 

DO I REALLY NEED TO TAKE THAT?  Must have tools and parts for RV Camping

Packing or stocking your RV for an extended camping trip can sometimes be more like a game of chance than a science.  The problem is that when you are 90 miles from nowhere at 10 p.m. on a Sunday night and the need for a specific tool or part arises you are up that proverbial creek without a paddle – that is, unless you stock for every imaginable need. Well, let me share with you one of my most inner, deep, dark secrets – this is one of those secrets that only my closest friends and family know.  I have an extremely vivid imagination.  Couple that with a guy who is an admitted tool junkie and president of his local Tools Anonymous help group along with my passion to fix anything and everything that “might” go wrong and you end up with a big, big box of tools and RV parts that could serve as initial inventory for a new Camping World Store. Anyway, to get to the point, these are the items packed away in that big, dark warehouse of parts, tools and accessories that DID prove... [Read more...]

EVERY RV TOOL BOX SHOULD HAVE THEM

February 2, 2012 by · 4 Comments 

EVERY RV TOOL BOX SHOULD HAVE THEM

Next to a roll of duct (or duck) tape, a package containing an assortment of zip-ties is one of the most important “fix-it” items you can put in your RV toolbox. First introduced under the name of Ty-Rap in 1958 by Thomas & Betts for assembling airplane-wiring harnesses, the zip-tie has evolved to include every conceivable function – including handcuffs often used by law enforcement.  Today they may also be called zap-ties or cable-ties, About the only thing you cannot fix with either duct tape and zip-ties are hot exhaust or tail pipes. Zip-ties usd by law enforcement as hand cuffs (Don't try this at home!) Good quality zip-ties are made of nylon.  The black ties are UV protected and suitable for outdoor use over an extended period.  White and other colors generally do not have the UV protection chemical added and are designed for indoor use. Unfortunately, many companies have made cheap copies of nylon zip-ties using plastic.  These are subject to easy breakage and... [Read more...]

SAVE 75% or MORE ON YOUR NEXT CORDLESS TOOL BATTERIES (Yes, I like saving money!)

January 25, 2012 by · 4 Comments 

SAVE 75% or MORE ON YOUR NEXT CORDLESS TOOL BATTERIES (Yes, I like saving money!)

Battery powered tools can be the mainstay for many RV’ers that like to be prepared for both unexpected needs and maintenance when away from home. I carry a full complement of 18-volt Ryobi power tools, including a drill, flashlight, reciprocating saw, handi-vacuum, and a small chain saw.  Other tools such a air compressors, radios, saber saws, circular saws, and leaf blowers also operate off of the same 18-volt nickel cadmium battery pack.  I find myself frequently using the drill with a socket that fits scissors jacks to quickly raise or lower the jacks.  The drill also serves as an electric screwdriver that recently came in handy when the base of our bed broke apart.  Both the reciprocating saw and the 10” chain saw are great for cutting gathered firewood from downed trees or limbs.  Of course, you are limited to small diameter wood. Using portable battery operated tools requires several spare batteries as well as a proper charger.  If the batteries are old and weak and can... [Read more...]

SHINGLES, CHRISTMAS 2011 and HAPPY 2012 CAMPING

January 8, 2012 by · 2 Comments 

SHINGLES, CHRISTMAS 2011 and HAPPY 2012 CAMPING

WOW – Christmas came and went so fast it is hard to realize it was ever here!  It’s not like it was when I was a kid and the days, hours and minutes crept by slower than molasses dripping out of a jar on a cold day.  Now, time just flies by – you know, ZAP!  One day you are 20 and before you know it 40 is here.  Then, blink your eyes and 65 appears.  Don’t believe me?  Just wait and see (which I hope you will ). A lot of gifts were given and received.  I gave Nancy a new Kindle Fire to replace the old (but still neat) B&W plain Kindle along with a big Amazon gift card so she can download plenty of new books.  She is having a ball learning about the new features and of course, playing Angry Birds. Me?  Well, I got everybody to stop giving me ties, shirts and socks years ago.  Now, they know to give me tools, electronic gadgets, or gift cards to Camping World or Tractor Supply.  I love them all!  Oh, BTW – if you are a member of the Good Sam Club you are now... [Read more...]

And the Frame Failure Fiasco Continues…

October 27, 2011 by · 6 Comments 

And the Frame Failure Fiasco Continues…

For those of you following our long, drawn-out frame failure issues, I thought it was about time for an update! I contacted various executives at Gulf Stream yet again, this time with links to the various articles/blogs that I have posted to alert other rvers to the potential for frame issues – still not a single answer or reply (not that, after 2 months of brush-off, I expected anything else).     Our insurance is finally coming through – though it took opening up a claim with our state insurance commission to get the ball rolling.  Our insurance had said that they would cover the damage, but we were having a hard time getting them to act on either totaling it out or finding someone to fix it (we couldn’t find anyone willing to attempt it).  After a month of telling us that they were going to total out our rv, they called us and said that they work with an rv repair shop in WA that said they would be able to make the repair.  After finally giving the transport... [Read more...]

Looking For Fun with the Fun Finder

September 21, 2011 by · 10 Comments 

How did we select our current RV? Well, I’d like to report that we had unlimited funds and time to select nothing but the very best that satisfied our every whim and need. I’d like to tell you that, but it wouldn’t be true. Instead, I’ll tell you what is probably a common story. We had camped for many years while the kids were growing up. But, as time went on, life began to interfere. Promotions, transfers, tuition, mortgages; all added up to lots of responsibility and outgo; as opposed to income. We dreamed of an early retirement and an upgrade to a class A motorhome that we would tour the country with. Years went by and vacations became less frequent (After all, ambitious people don’t actually take vacations, do they?). After a while, any trips we took were of the hotel variety. Our dream had started to fade as I chased after the corporate brass ring. I’m not going to complain; at least not too much. I got to travel the world, staying in fine hotels and, in general, enjoying... [Read more...]

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