Repairs and Unwanted Guests

When you live in a house on wheels, one can expect to have things break, loosen, rattle, or not work at all.  After all, it is a moving object and it’s moving down roads that aren’t usually smooth. I guess it’s all part of the RV adventure. FruitaIn the beginning, there’s the “breaking in” phase.  It doesn’t seem to matter whether it’s a new RV directly from the factory or a slightly used model.  They all have “their moments”.  Within the first couple of outings with our new fifth wheel, we experienced some problems.  Some warranty issues here, some warranty issues there.  Once those warranty issues were taken care of, the following two years were “issue” free

RV RepairNow that she’s broken in, withstood plenty of extreme weather, and gone down some pretty rough roads, we have a few things needing attention.  Therefore, we spend the month of August in an RV Park with full-hookups allowing us to tend to these things.

First is a major cleaning inside and out.  Al and I wash, vacuum, and clean every nook and cranny on the interior of the RV.  Even going so far as to removing vents and drawers.

We opt for a little help on the exterior though.  We knew that would be a huge undertaking that we felt we weren’t ready to tackle ourselves.  We hired Bravo Detailing. It took Salvador Bravo and his helper four hours to wash and hand wax the exterior of the RV.  She looks and smells like new. 😀

RV Repairs

We have Bravo Detailing wash and wax the exterior

RV RepairsNow it’s time for some minor repairs.  My kitchen faucet was leaking, plus I really missed having a sprayer.  Oh darn, I guess I need a new faucet and what a nice new faucet it is…..and it even has a built-in sprayer.

Next up, my bathroom doorknob….. As a ‘going on the road’ gift from our daughter, she gave us the first four seasons of The Big Bang Theory on DVD.  Al and I have been entertaining ourselves watching this sitcom.  One of the characters, Sheldon, is very OCD.  When Sheldon knocks on neighbor Penny’s door, he does so in a rather neurotic manor and sequence.  My point?  Stay with me…..  I use hand cream regularly.  It never fails, I always have to go to the bathroom AFTER I put the hand cream on.  Last week I stepped into the bathroom.  The door was ajar when I entered.  As I attempted to exit, my hand, moist with cream, couldn’t grasp the round doorknob without slipping.  I wrapped my T-shirt around my hand, once again attempting to turn the knob….to no avail.  I can’t get out – I’m locked in the bathroom!  I heard Al rustling around on the other side of the door near the closet and in true “Sheldon” style and sequence, I said “Al” followed by three knocks on the door…..”Al”….knock, knock, knock….”Al”….knock, knock, knock ….. “Al….knock, knock, knock.  If you’ve ever watched the show, you’ll understand why Al burst out in laughter then proceeded to open the door for me.  I now have a new LEVER doorknob!Chimney Rock

travelGetting locked in the bathroom may have been funny, but running out of hot water was not.  Our water heater had been acting up and of course it decides to stop working in the middle of MY shower while my long tresses were heavily lathered in suds.  Thank goodness for 90 degree weather, making the cold shower almost enjoyable.  Turns out the igniter needed to be cleaned and prongs squeezed a little closer to fire off properly.  It’s been working fine ever since hubby worked his magic.

Next on our list; when we first purchased our RV, I initially was happy with the décor ….well as happy as one could be with RV décor.  I think the manufactures are finally starting to hire some professional interior decorators.  I’m starting to see some newer RV’s with attractive décor.  It’s about time.

Now that we’re living in the RV full-time and making changes here and there, I decide I NEED to change the bedroom curtains.  The current set clash’s with the comforter on the bed, plus I’ve never been a fan of the silky green side panels.  I couldn’t capture the true pea green color of the side panels in the photo.  Trust me…it’s a pea soup green that had to go.

I picked a generic fabric that would easily coordinate with the comforter and other accent colors as well as the rest of the rig.  My sister-in-law graciously allowed me to use her sewing machine and I proceeded to make new curtains for the bedroom.  They turned out ok and even look like they came from the manufacturer…..hum, is that a good thing or a bad thing?

Mt. Garfield

Mt. Garfield, Palisades, Colorado

Onto the arcing and sparking microwave.  It started sparking intermittently last winter.  I don’t use the microwave very often, but I do like to use it to melt butter or warm maple syrup.  Al accused me of not using a “microwave safe” dish and didn’t believe me when I told him, “Something is wrong with the microwave”.  Last week I put a couple of potatoes in the microwave and boy did the arcing and sparking get Al’s attention.  We removed and cleand the wave guide cover and voile….. she’s working like a champ.

With the RV all taken care of and absolutely no signs of any unwanted guests, we move onto the trucks.  Al and I give the trucks a thorough cleaning and waxing.  What?  You want to hear about the unwanted guests???

repairs

Me hand waxing the F250….Al did the top and I did the bottom

A few weeks ago we were camped at a lovely state park….Ridgway State Park, Colorado.  While enjoying a roaring campfire, I noticed movement off in the brush.  I later heard the rustling and saw the little critters…..field mice.  Oh, how cute.  A couple of nights later, I’m awakened at three in the morning by the sound of scratching nails.  Since I’m a lady, I’ll fast forward to the morning and spare you the language that ensued.

RV miceOver morning coffee, I briefed Al on the nighttime noise and activity.   Shortly after breakfast, we both crawled under the rig, something we had done in the past.  No visible signs of any openings.  Al determines it was probably the chipmunks or mice running on the conduit/cables.

I’m convinced we have some unwanted guests trying to nest in our humble abode.   Al thinks it’s my imagination because I saw the little critters scampering around in the brush.  My imagination?  Really?  ……That is….. until hubby himself notices evidence…… True Value

Then we were off, in a rather urgent pace I might add, to the local hardware store to pick up some good old fashioned mouse traps.  We did indeed have a couple of unwanted guests. Obviously, it wasn’t my imagination…..”Told ya so!”

As we departed Ridgway State Park, we both felt confident that we weren’t transporting any free loading guests. However, shortly after arriving at the Junction West RV Park in Grand Junction, we were quick to empty the rig and do a very thorough cleaning and continued to keep a couple of traps active for a few more days, just to be sure.

Projects completed, guests terminated, and Al and I feeling refreshed…..sounds like it’s almost time to move on…….

RV repair

my MacGyver

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52 thoughts on “Repairs and Unwanted Guests

  1. Mama Mia! I didn’t think of the other responsibilities in keeping an RV. This post makes me even understand more about RVing and RVers. I even hate washing my SUV because it always gets dirty, because I always drive to go places. Plus, them birds always poop on it. 😀
    Mt. Gabriel looks so gorgeous…. And oh, if the forces of the earth allowed me to be your guest as well, can you me look as adorable as that one in the picture? Ahihihi 😆

    • Ah yes, just like owning a house, there are always things that need attention, but this house gets jolted as it rolls down the road causing unique issues. Certain guests, no matter how cute, will not be welcome especially when they multiply so rapidly…lol.

  2. How fun! I have envisioned life in an RV for a year in early retirement. (still working on convincing hubby, though) There’s so much to do and see in this beautiful country of ours.
    I enjoyed reading about your adventures so far, and am looking forward to more stories of the road!

  3. I love giving our RV a good cleaning…but with 3 dogs, it usually only stays that way for about 10 minutes! Love what you did with the curtains – that was the first thing I wanted to do with ours when we got the R.! But now that we’re moving around and seeing so much stuff, I haven’t had time to even think about it. Maybe when we slow down in few months I’ll finally get around to doing it!

    • I would not have bothered with the curtains for awhile but the pea green was like nails on a chalk board. They just had to go….lol. Getting everything clean felt good although I never minded the dog hair….

  4. Knock, knock, knock to you too! Very funny. Your RV must be like new now. I fear our trailer is more broken down than broken in after eleventy seven thousand miles around the country. I may have to stop reading your posts. You’ve given me a case of faucet envy.

  5. What I love about this post is that you take the time to tell us all the things that happen on the road that is NOT a picnic. It’s not all wonderous sights and easy living. There is work, critters, and things that slip from your fingers (HA, couldn’t resist!). In the end, It is still a ride through the park. Love, love, love the beautiful scenery. 🙂

    • I assure you it is NOT always a picnic but it is an adventure and an excitement. LOL…’slip from your fingers’ That was quite the situation trying to turn that door knob….love the new lever knob. Looking forward to photos from your new addition 🙂

  6. I can totally relate about the mice – my hubbie did not believe the rustling that I heard in the garage were the little critters – well lets just stay I was right – ha! No one likes being locked in the bathroom – you had me laughing about the knocking and the Sheldon reference – love Big Bang:) I am glad to hear you are making it your home on wheels – like the new faucet and curtains (some interiors of trailers are not so pretty). Happy Thursday:)

    • Thanks….agree RV décor can sometimes be down right BAD. It feels good to have all the changes and cleaning complete. Now we can focus on fun!

      • Enjoy Your Home On Wheels and Have FUN, FUN, FUN!!! I will have to tell my dad to look for a cleaning service because he is getting up there and still cleans the outside of his RV. Plus him and ladders really do not like each other – ha!

  7. It is a truism for full-timers that many things shake loose whilst traveling down the road at 60 mph! Your rig is looking pretty spiffy after all your hard work. Love your new window treatments. We live in fear of mice! Do you place lights under your rig at night? We do and have not had any mice yet. Don’t know if this is the reason why or not.

    • We have rope lights for AZ mainly for packrats. I’m not sure lighting works for field mice. They were pretty active in the brush all day long. Heading back to our same campsite at Ridgway SP on the 1st and this time I’ll try peppermint oil to keep the critters at bay. I’m liking the new curtains and the purple towels….thanks for that color combo idea. Sure miss your blog posts!

  8. In South Texas we had to TIE WalMart bags over our truck mirrors..The birds would see themselves and scratch the mirrors pecking at them..Mice were a problem there too, but they were invading people’s trucks…getting into the insulation around the radiator . People were putting mousetraps in their truck engines..I kid you NOT! Yes, the decor is some RV’s looks a tad like Morticia’s house…Ours is pretty tolerable in a neutral, and our down comforter has a neutral duvet cover too,so no problem there! Love your new curtains..the pea green ones reminded me of the movie The Exorcist..just sayin’. I am blessed, as are you, with a very talented MacGyver. He even built a new oak frame for our new flat screen TV in the living room. One thing we would NEVER be without in an RV is a fireplace…That is our main heat in cold weather. We went 4 months on 2 bottles of propane…Rarely used the heat, just our fireplace (electric) and a little space heater in the bedroom…SHEESH, I AM LONG WINDED TODAY…SORRY!

    • Yikes….good to know about the birds in TX. We may spend Jan in Rockport. Neutral décor is always good. We don’t have a FP but do have a portable electric heater that we use regularly when needed. Love your comments….. Al’s the winded one around here and yes the talented MacGyver as well. Maybe I’ll rehang the Morticia curtains and he can be Gomaz tonight 🙄

      • Rockport isn’t as bad..We stayed at Goose Island State Park in Fulton..great spot…The birds were bad at Falcon Lake, North of Roma on the Rio Grande…Beautiful Green Jays and many tropical birds, but they are very vain!

        • We’ll be staying at Hidden Oaks RV Park, not far from Goose Island. Meeting friends so the guys can Duck Hunt. Al’s still a country boy at heart!

  9. I love Big Bang Theory and watch it if I can….so far no luck. Hey, I know you are good at the sewing machine…can I hire you to change our curtains too?
    Our last good cleaning was in November after our Alaska trip and Betsy needs a good cleaning again after our eastcoast sojourn. We will be on one spot for a month in Florida and that is the planned time to do repairs/cleaning and all the good stuff that comes with it.
    We have also terminated one little mouse using the old way!

    Love that picture of Mt Garfield!

    • What’s wrong with your curtains? I like them. Yeah, sometimes you just have to sit still to tend to mundane business like cleaning. Florida should be a nice spot to do that though. I guess it shouldn’t surprise us that those little critters can find a way to hitch a free ride. Par for the course!
      The town of Palisades sits at the base of Mt. Garfield. Palisades is home to the annual Peach Festival and Colorado Mountain Winefest. There will be a post on this late in September. Ashton and her roommate are visiting on the 21st to attend the winefest…..moi, is the designated driver 😉

  10. Whew I was exhausted just reading your log, but was uplifted at times by giggling at your misadventures. You see it takes one to know one, and those of us who live in rolling earthquakes have similar stories. It really is handy having a MacGyver in the house. I agree with the RV industry’s idea or lack thereof interior decorating. The only saving grace to my interior is that it is neutral in its coloring. Being locked in the bathroom reminded me of the time we were entertaining, and in leaving the rig our guest accidentally locked the door on his way out. Needless to say after that we made sure we had a key hidden on the outside of the rig so we would not worry about that in the future. Although the key didn’t help much when the lock broke and we were locked out, thank goodness the toolbox was in an unlocked storage locker. Don’t you feel uplifted when everything is CLEAN!!!! You have inspired me to do the same, but it will have to wait until I get some time LOL…..
    .

    • I love that “rolling earthquakes”. I just may have to steal that! We managed to lock ourselves out of our rig on it’s maiden voyage. You just gotta laugh at these RV faux pas. We knew we wanted to accomplish a lot this month. Thus the month in one place to pace ourselves. We also needed plenty of down time to recover from the move. Recovered and clean, I’m antsy to roll again 🙂

  11. We are Big Bang Theory fans and Sheldon is our favorite. Love your story! Made us laugh! As always, your pictures are so beautiful. Regarding the critters, Mike and I have a string of led tube lighting that we lay on the ground under the rig. Its on a timer to automatically turn on at night. Do you do that? We saw so many other full-timers doing that, that we thought there must be something to it. It is supposed to discourage those nighttime critters from visiting, and we’ll do anything that might help us avoid that scenario!

    • Thanks. We have the rope lights to use in Arizona to keep the packrats at bay. Field Mice? I’m not sure the lights would matter. I bought peppermint oil to try and deter them as we return to our same campsite at Ridgway State Park on the 1st. We are now huge Big Bang Theory fans ourselves and it was a pretty funny moment in our rig 😆

  12. Wow you guys were really ambitious. We’re still in the warranty issues phase with ours but seem to be having more than our share.

    • After our first two outings, we needed the toilet and landing jacks replaced. Since then, it’s been little things here or there that we can take care of. We’ve heard of a lot more problems with the big MH’s. I hope you get all of yours out of the way at one time so you can focus on the fun part of RVing 🙂

  13. Mice? Oh heck no!!!!!!!!! Great post and photos as always. I need to get my sewing machine out to work on something 😉 You’ve got little mammals and my folks are dealing with mosquitoes in their RV. Either way – ICK!

    • Well…..ick kind of goes with the territory. That doesn’t mean I don’t do my fair share of freaking out. 😳 I’m really pleased with the new curtains. They coordinate much better with everything. I even added little pockets to the side panels next to our bed for a flashlight and reading glasses. Down the road I’ll tackle the cornices in the living area.

  14. That’s our plan now that we are here in York, PA for two months. It is so much easier to clean the MH that it gets a good clean quite frequently but I do need to go through the closets and cupboards and clean under the bed. Time to get rid of more unnecessary items.

    I am the inside person (unless something breaks) and John is the outside man. He is very good about washing and waxing the motorhome. We knew we couldn’t wash the rig at our present location, so John did the wash and wax while we were at my mother’s. She was all shiny and then we hit a little rain on our drive south:( John is so diligent that he has waterless cleaner!!! Touch up time! It sure feels good to have everything tidy, doesn’t it. You guys deserve a day out:)

    Glad you got rid of the unwanted visitor!! We had our first a few months ago. Only one, thank goodness. And just by dumb luck found it early in its building.

    Thanks for all the humor during your narrative…loved it! So glad you added some beautiful photos:)

    • I was freaking out on Al pretty bad about catching the little buggers before they built a nest. Glad you caught yours early as did we. It really feels good to have everything clean and organized. I did leave a box of stuff in my brother’s garage because, of course like most, I over packed. I hate clutter, so it’s nice to have a little more space. Have fun cleaning and purging 🙂

  15. Love the curtains…..may try to do the same thing. I really dislike the frames they put around them and it takes nothing to dislodge the little screw holding it in place. Thanks for the homey idea!

    • Eventually, I’ll probably tackle the cornices in the living area. With the side panels next to our bed, I added pockets to store a flash light and reading glasses…..working out awesome. I just couldn’t get a decent photo due to the poor lighting. I’m so happy with the change.

  16. we’ve had mice off and on for years – they get in and then I get ’em.. but they’re sneaky! Glad you got ’em and they’re gone for now… we even had one get into my wife’s car, got it, too. I’m sure it feels good to have stopped and gotten stuff repaired and cleaned – now on to your next adventure.

    • Unwanted critters…..just a fact of life. Yikes, one in the car? That would creep me out. It does feel good to have things cleaned and organized. We’re ready to head out so we can dirty it all up again….lol.

  17. That was quite the list of repairs that you two made, it’s a good thing that you’re handy and could tackle the repairs yourselves. I would guess that an RV dealership would charge an arm and a leg to make the repairs.

    • It’s definitely an advantage to be able to do the work yourself. Not only is it a cost savings but a schedule and convenience issue as well. Plus, we enjoy the hinterland and quite often things break while we’re hundreds of miles away from the nearest RV dealer. So we learn!

  18. I have this picture of you knocking on the door and Al getting that same look Leonard gives when Sheldon knocks like that… love the story… a good clean and wax and where are we off to now.?… Laredo, is that the make of your 5th wheeler or is that the name you gave it..??.. You know you could so easily write a best seller with these stories you share with us… I love this blog…

    • Oh yes, Al just kept shaking his head in disbelief and chuckling. Our Fifth Wheel is made by “Keystone”. The Laredo model is their mid-level product. Having been a builder and home designer, I knew the exact layout I wanted and the Laredo was the only one that fit the bill. We shopped A LOT and are very glad we did. It’s working well for us. I tell folks all the time, “Think about the way YOU like to live”. That advice really helped my brother and sister-in-law while picking out a travel trailer. Next up….Gunnison, Colorado 😀

    • Thanks, I wasn’t sure how many readers would know what I was talking about. We just became Big Bang Theory fans recently, thanks to daughter.

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