Change of Season & Must-Have RV Accessories

The changing of seasons can be an exciting time for many of us in the RV community, but it can be a sad time, too. For part-time RVers, this time of the year might mean the last summer camping trip is over, and it’s now time to winterize and stow the RV until next season rolls around.

For those of us that full-time RV, it’s time we keep those wheels rolling with a keen eye on the weather. You never know when you’ll get caught in a freak storm!

snow in Tucson Arizona

An unusual snowstorm in Tucson, Arizona. What a rare encounter!

September is one of my favorite months for RVing. The weather is usually agreeable throughout most of the United States, including the high country. Sure, you have to pay attention to overnight temperatures in the mountains to avoid freezing waterlines, and you might even encounter a light dusting of snow here or there, but most winter conditions won’t begin to set in until sometime in October or November.

Colorado goldPlus, this time of year, the kids are back in school (yay!) leaving plenty of room for the rest of us to find open campsites.

Oh, and have I mentioned the leaves? Who doesn’t enjoy fall colors?

Yep, September is a great month to travel in an RV, but it’s also the perfect time of year to check that our important RV accessories are in perfect working condition. After all, there’s no sense in storing cracked hoses or damaged electrical cords, let alone carry them on to our next destination.

Top 3 Must-Have RV Accessories …

So whether we’re getting ready to put our RV into storage or we’re heading south to a warmer climate for the winter, we should check (closely) our RV gear … especially the necessary and most important gear like sewer hoses, electrical cords/adapters, and drinking water hose. (This post contains sponsored content and affiliate links.)

Al and I spend a great deal of our time traveling around the southwestern part of the United States where it’s not uncommon to enjoy as many as 300 days of sunshine per year. Yeah, we won’t complain about that! All that sunshine is great, and we love it, but that doesn’t mean that sunshine plays well with our equipment. In reality, sun and heat can play havoc with our equipment, especially anything plastic or rubber.

Sewer waste hose

One of our neighbors here in the RV Park in Prescott Valley, Arizona, just replaced his RV waste hose the other day. The hose looked fine to Al and me, and being somewhat nosy neighbors curious, we walked over to ask him why he was replacing the seemingly perfect waste hose.

RVingHe went on to tell us how every time he dumped his tank, he’d smell a bad odor. There were no visible leaks on the ground, just the odor. So upon closer examination of the waste hose, he discovered it was split on top in numerous places. Ah yes, that sun!

By inspecting the hose and then replacing it with a new one, he averted a potentially crappy situation ūü§£… a situation that he nor his neighbors would have found humorous, but rather, quite disastrous.

Being able to empty our tanks with ease is crucial in the RVing world. Al and I travel with two waste hoses. It’s always a good idea to have an extra hose in case your existing one is leaking or in the event one hose isn’t long enough to connect to the dump site. I can’t tell you how many times having that second hose averted an inconvenience or even a potential disaster.

Electrical extension cord and fittings

Seeing the country in an RV can be an amazing adventure, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t challenges. In an ideal world, we could just pull our RV up to an electrical pedestal at any campsite and plug-in and connect. Unfortunately, it’s not always that easy, and the use of an¬†¬†extension cord¬†might be necessary.

RV parks and campgrounds do not always offer the best layout for us to hook-up. Way too many are poorly designed and might even leave us perplexed and scratching our head in bewilderment, wondering, “Whatever were they thinking?” Therefore, being prepared for any scenario is advisable.

RV electrical gear

RV electrical gear by Road & Home

Not only do we need to be concerned about ample electrical cord, but we also need to make sure we check which type of hookup is available and if we have the correct connection. Some campgrounds or RV parks have a 50 amp connection on the electrical pedestal while others may have only a 30 amp connection. If you’re lucky, the pedestal will have both, but in the event it doesn’t, having various¬†electrical RV adapters¬†on hand will make your RV adventure that much more enjoyable.

Electrical adapters¬†are a must if you ever intend to plug your RV into a standard household outlet. Whether you’re at a campground, RV park, or residential home, make sure you understand the various electrical hookups/outlets before plugging in to any outlet to prevent damage to your RV electrical system.

Drinking water hose

Access to fresh water is important when traveling in an RV, and a hose designed and designated specifically for drinking water is an absolute must. We always travel with two 25′ long hoses. First, you never know how far away a water connection will be, and second, you never know when a hose will fail. Yeah, there’s that whole damaging sun and heat subject again.

must have RV gear

It’s the little things that make our life easier … using a Y connector.

Extras we keep on hand

Now that I’ve covered the top 3 must-have RV accessories, allow me to share a few other little items that are great to have on hand. Sometimes it’s the little things that make our RV life a little easier.

  • Water¬†Hose Y connector¬†– this connector allows us¬†to turn a single hose outlet into two outlets.
  • Water Pressure Regulator¬†– this is a must. It protects our equipment, prevents pipe damage and increases equipment longevity.
  • Waste Hose couplers – these come in handy in the event we need to join two hoses together. We also keep a couple of hose clamps in our tool kit.
  • Waste Hose adapters ‚Äď we replace these fittings from time to time due to use and sun damage. It’s always a good idea to keep an extra around.
  • RV waste cap – this is another item that we like having a spare on hand. A couple of years ago, after staying in an RV park for a month, Al went to disconnect our waste hose and attach the waste cap, but he couldn’t find the cap. We think a critter may have taken it.

chipmunk

A change of season – preparing your RV for winter

If you’re storing your RV for the winter, winterizing it properly is crucial. It’s no fun pulling your RV out of storage and getting it ready for your first camping trip of the season, only to realize you have damaged lines and/or equipment. You’ll want to consult your owner’s manual for instructions specific to your RV or seek professional help in winterizing your particular RV.

If you decide to RV in winter conditions, there’s some precautions to take to avoid waterlines freezing. Al and I do our best to avoid RVing in freezing temperatures, but sometimes, it’s unavoidable. This is how we’ve handled winter RVing … we go into “self-containment” mode.

  • Disconnect the RV¬†water hose¬†and waste hose.
  • Have your fresh water tank full for usage.
  • Use your RV furnace to keep the RV warm. It’s okay to use another source of heat like a¬†Mr. Buddy,¬†but do not use it exclusively. The RV heating system usually has heat runs to the lower compartments, keeping waterlines and the water pump from freezing.
camping in Tucson Arizona

Gilbert Ray Campground, Tucson, Arizona – February 2013

So, are you ready for the change of season?

I know we are, and as we prepare to hit the road along with the impending weather changes, Al and I remind ourselves of our favorite quote ….

‚ÄúAn ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure‚ÄĚ – Ben Franklin

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RV Extended Warranty – Should I get One?

With all the repairs Al and I have done lately on the RV, we’ve asked ourselves many times if perhaps we should have purchased an extended RV warranty. It’s an important question every RV owner should ask themselves. Some RV repairs are easy, but many are difficult and expensive.

extended RV warranty and why you need oneRVing is at an all time high and with higher RV demand, the manufacturers are cranking out production at a record high number.

With RVs being rushed down the assembly lines, the quality of the product has slipped and so has customer service.

Once that one year manufacturers warranty is up, RV owners are left to their own devices dealing with failing components.

It’s not a matter of if your RV will need repairs, it’s a matter of when. The first time we blew a tire on our 5th Wheel Trailer, it took out our waterlines and did some body damage. Oh, what fun that was!

This is a sponsored/affiliate post!

Buying a RV Extended Warranty is Like Buying Insurance

An Extended Warranty is very similar to purchasing an Auto Insurance Policy. We never plan on getting into an accident. As a matter of fact, I think we’d all agree that we’d prefer not using that insurance. Yeah, no one wants to get into an accident, but when we do, thank goodness for that insurance.

replace a RV toilet

A new toilet – June 2018! Our 3rd one in seven years. First one replaced during manufacturers warranty

RV components will fail, and when that happens do you have the knowledge, tools, and ability to fix your RV yourself or do you need to seek professional help?

Al and I are extremely handy and quite capable of working on our RV ourselves, but then again, we own a basic RV with few bells, horns, and whistles.

Even with that said, there are some things beyond our capabilities, and we know those more difficult fixes are expensive ones that will need to be addressed by a professional.

Having an extended RV warranty can offer peace of mind just like any other insurance policy … we hope to never need it, but when we do, we’re very glad we have it.

camping at Lake Powell

Reasons to buy a RV Extended Warranty

  • Complexity of the RV – The bigger and more expensive the RV, the more difficult and more expensive the repairs will be.
  • Big dollar repairs – RVs are full of many specialized components that can quickly add up to thousands of dollars in replacement costs not to mention the cost of labor.
  • Peace of Mind – having an RV repair emergency fund is crucial but knowing that account wouldn’t be depleted during a major repair offers peace of mind.
  • Resale Value – If you aren’t sure how long you intend to keep the RV, a transferable warranty may make your RV more marketable.

RV Extended Warranties and why you need one

Should I buy an Extended Warranty for my RV?

Depends! We’ve spoken with many RVers via our travels and via this blog who have shared their horror stories with us about big dollar repair costs on their RV … RVs that are less than five years old. Imagine the cost of things like failing slide outs, cracked waste tanks, bent/broken frames, refrigerators and A/C units that won’t cool, and the list goes on.

Full-time RVing costBefore we bought our new 5th wheel, we owned a truck camper that we also purchased new.

Shortly after the manufacturers warranty ran out, the camper fridge stopped working. The repair and replacement cost was over $1000. Yeah, over a grand for a little RV refrigerator in a simple truck camper.

Another costly situation happened to our 5th wheel when our waste tank cables broke during year two of ownership. Amazing what will break shortly after the manufacturers warranty expires.

So, should you buy an extended warranty? Again, depends! How big is your emergency fund? Do you have the wherewithal to service the RV yourself? We have several RV acquaintances that swear by their extended warranty and have said the warranty paid for itself. Knowing what I know now, we’ll definitely consider¬†buying an extended warranty when we purchase our next RV. Isn’t 20/20 hindsight wonderful ūü§Ē

RVing Grand Tetons National Park

Dealer sold warranties are money makers for the dealer

Many RV dealers will try to sell you an extended¬†warranty when you buy your RV from them. Be sure you shop around before buying any warranty. Some dealer warranties are backed by the dealership itself and require you to get all the repairs done at that very shop … not very convenient when traveling across the country. Dealer-sold warranties are usually more expensive and less comprehensive than any warranty you can get externally. So, you’ll definitely want to shop around.

Some things to keep in mind when shopping for an extended RV warranty –

  • Understand transfer and cancellation policies
  • Know who’s backing the warranty
  • Are you able to use any repair facility
  • Verify any restrictions or limitations
  • Check the reputation of the warranty company
  • Understand deductibles, claim procedures, and term limits

Who do most RVers recommend?

A name that keeps popping up with positive reviews is Wholesale Warranties. We have several friends who’ve purchased an extended RV warranty from them and have been extremely pleased and more than one has said the extended warranty paid for itself.

What makes Wholesale Warranties a leader in the industry

Wholesale Warranties is dedicated to education and customer service. Their RV Warranty Specialists are fully trained on helping customers find the best policy for them, how to buy RV extended warrantyat the best price. With access to several different warranty companies, levels of coverage, and payment plans, they seek to educate the customer on the options available to them, and eventually help them narrow this down to the perfect policy to suit their needs.

Wholesale Warranties always provides customers with a full copy of the terms and conditions of their contract prior to accepting payment for a policy, and is dedicated to transparency. They want their customers to know exactly what they’re getting into, and this includes what they can expect to be excluded in their policy.

Wholesale Warranties does not simply disappear after the sale of a policy. They have a dedicated internal claims staff that is available to customers at any time during the life of the policy. Their claims specialists are happy to assist customers with any questions they have during the claims process, including facilitating communication between the warranty company and the repair facility, and addressing any questions about approval or denial of a claim. They stand behind the products they sell, and want customers to get the most out of their policies.

RV friendly roads or not

Oops … Not an RV friendly road, huh!¬†ūüôĄ

Wholesale Warranties is more than just RV Warranties!

They recently launched an RV Repair Facility directory called RV Repair Direct, where customers can find and rate mechanics in their area. This site also allows Wholesale Warranties customers to submit their information if they experience a non-emergency breakdown, and their internal claims staff will find a reputable repair facility or mobile repair technician that is able to complete that repair for them.

Final thoughts about an extended RV warranty

Steamboat Lake ColoradoWhen shopping for an extended RV warranty, you’ll want to evaluate where your concerns lie. Are you mostly concerned about a catastrophic failure or concerned about the whole RV?

Knowing what type of RV repair bills you can and cannot afford will help you choose the best coverage for your personal needs.

If you are worried that RV repairs might blow your travel budget, or are just interested in getting a bit more information, you can click here and a warranty specialist from WholesaleWarranties.com will be happy to assist you. Mention that you are a Live Laugh RV reader and use code D-LLRV for the best price in extended warranties. Happy trails!

RV extended warranties

(this post contains sponsored and affiliate links)

1,000 Places to See in the United States and Canada Before You Die
The Mountains are Calling and I Must Go

RV Maintenance Made Easy

Our RV is getting older, and as such, she’s needing a little maintenance and updating. Hmm, couldn’t we all?¬†ūü§£ At least twice a year, Al and I head up to the roof of the RV to check things out. More frequent visits would probably be even better, but when we’re confronted with landscapes that are so stunningly beautiful and beg to be explored, who wants to work on RV projects?

Grand Tetons National Park

Grand Tetons National Park is stunningly beautiful. We visited June and again in July of 2016 and can’t wait to return to this picturesque place.

But regular RV maintenance is necessary, and most projects aren’t very difficult; therefore, there’s really no excuse. With that said, it is something we consciously try to make a priority if we want to keep the RV in tip-top shape. Thus, the travel and exploring gets put on hold temporarily while we dive into maintenance projects.

So, up on the roof we go. After checking all the vents, caulking, and general condition of the roof, Al and I determine that the sewer vent caps should be replaced. One cap is severely cracked while the other looks compromised. We’re not sure if they were damaged by hail or a tree branch. Regardless, we’ll replace both caps.

For this post, I’ve partnered with a great RV parts company called Road & Home. Although we’ve received some free goodies from them, all opinions regarding their products are my own.¬†We first discovered Road and Home products during a shopping trip to the local Lowe’s.

how to replace a RV roof vent cap on a rubber roof

What a surprise – Lowe’s carries the RV roof vent cap we needed

RV maintenance made easy

It was a Sunday afternoon, and since most RV dealerships in Arizona are closed on Sundays, we headed to Lowe’s for some general plumbing fittings. We’ve had a tiny fresh water leak in our storage bay that only leaks during the clean water flushing stage of dumping our black tank. It wasn’t an urgent repair, but a needed repair nonetheless. A new fitting should fix up the leak, so off to Lowe’s we go.

Lowe’s had everything we needed to fix the plumbing leak, but much to our surprise (a pleasant surprise), they even had the sewer vent caps that we needed for the roof of the RV. We didn’t even realize Lowe’s carried any RV parts, but there we were standing in front of a large display filled with a variety of RV products from Road and Home.

How to repair a RV

A whole display of RV related parts by Road and Home at Lowe’s

Fifteen minutes later, along with half a dozen products in our shopping cart, it was time to head back to the RV to get to work. With storms expected in the next few days, first and foremost was replacing the roof vent caps.

How to replace a RV sewer vent cap on a rubber roof

Step #1 – The first step is to gently remove the existing vent from the rubber roof. After removing any visible screws, snap off the top cap. With a blow dryer, heat the existing caulk and with a plastic¬†putty knife, gently pry and separate the caulk from the rubber roof. You’ll want to be extremely careful not to rip the rubber roof which is why we don’t recommend using a metal putty knife. This process might be a little slow going, but be patient … we don’t want to compromise the integrity of the rubber roof by damaging it.

how to replace a RV rubber roof vent cap

Gently remove the existing caulk using a blow dryer to heat the caulk

how to replace a RV roof vent on a rubber roof

Step #2 – Once the old caulk is removed, use a soft clean cloth to wash the area, making sure the surface around the sewer vent pipe is clean. We just used plain water, no soap.

Once the area is dry, lay down a layer of plumber’s putty. We already had a roll of RV sealant/putty in our tool box.

how to replace a RV roof vent

Putting down a layer of plumbers putty/sealant

Step #3 – Now it’s time to screw down the bottom section of the vent and install the top cap. The top cap snaps on and there’s one screw on top to hold the cap down.how to replace a RV vent on a rubber roof

how to replace a RV roof vent on a rubber roof

 

Step #4 – Now comes the cake decorating portion of the install … otherwise known as caulking. This is when I (aka cake decorator) step in to finish up the job. Using¬†Dicor lap sealant with a caulking gun, I liberally apply a large amount of sealant around the base of the vent, and use the plastic putty knife to help spread out the sealant. This stuff is not normal caulk and may take a little practice to make it look somewhat close to factory install. The tube may say self-leveling, but that doesn’t mean self-smoothing!

how to replace a roof vent on a RV with a rubber roof

This is as good as it’s going to get! Dicor sealant is gooey, sticky and a total pain to work with, but oh so necessary.

Final thoughts

Although replacing both RV roof sewer vent caps was a little time consuming and tedious, overall it was a relatively easy DIY project. Thank you, Road and Home, for making this RV maintenance project even easier with the convenience of being able to buy everything we needed at Lowe’s (available on Amazon too).

how to replace RV roof vent caps

Ta-Da! Our RV roof with two new vent caps installed

monsoon season in Arizona

With monsoon season officially here in Arizona, our RV roof project was timed perfectly.

(This post is meant for entertainment purposes. Please follow all manufacture recommended guidelines.This post contains sponsored content and affiliate links. For for full disclosure click here)
Road & Home Push/Pull Drain Stopper
Road & Home Roof Vent Cap
Road & Home Shower Faucet
Road & Home Plastic Hose Shut-Off

When my Gut is Right

Ever get that sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach that says life has been so good lately that something bad is bound to happen? Just how bad, I never know, but my gut is usually right.

April 2018 РWe had a fabulous month hanging out at Lake Powell. As a matter of fact, it was one of our more enjoyable stays anywhere, which was totally unexpected. Although we’ve visited Page, Arizona, on several occasions in the past and always enjoyed our visits, we didn’t have any high expectations for this excursion.

sunrise at Lake Powell

the view from my RV – a beautiful sunrise over Lake Powell

Over the years, I’ve noticed when I am super excited about a certain trip, my expectations are rarely met. Yet, when I have low expectations, I’m usually pleasantly surprised and sometimes whelmed beyond my wildest dreams. And such was the case this past April.

Oh, don‚Äôt get me wrong, it wasn‚Äôt what I‚Äôd call a perfect trip, which we all know doesn’t exist, but it was still awesome. We‚Äôre still trying to rid ourselves of all the sand we accumulated during those sand storms while camping on a beach. Even a month and several vacuumings later, we‚Äôre still discovering sand in various nooks and crannies. Ah, but it was so worth it!

camping at Lake Powell

camping at Lake Powell

On the one hand, we were very sad to pack up and leave, but on the on the other hand, we were ready for a change of scenery as well as moving closer to our children.

It was the end of April and a beautiful sunny Sunday morning. After dumping our tanks, we were rolling down the two lane highway by 8:00 a.m. Al took the lead in the F-250 pulling the 5th wheel while I followed behind in the Toyota Tacoma.  With my Tom Petty CD playing, I settled into the drive while admiring the view. That contentment didn’t last long as I was startled by the sound of a loud boom followed by debris flying in the air.

highway 89 in northern Arizona

A beautiful day for travel – Heading south on Hwy 89 in northern Arizona

Only thirty minutes into our drive, a tire on the RV blew. (This post contains affiliate links). Fortunately, I was following far enough behind the RV that I wasn’t hit by any flying debris. I quickly radioed Al to inform him of the blown tire, which he seemed aware of but was glad for the confirmation.  We quickly found a safe spot to pull over and began to get to work.

Flat tire on a 5th Wheel RV

Al retrieves the spare and rolls it over to install

Sure we have roadside assistance, but it was a Sunday morning and who knew how long the wait might be for help to arrive. Plus Al and I were on some sort of roll. During the past month, we’d spent a fair amount of time exploring some remote back country on some rutted dirt/gravel roads. In so doing, the bed of the Tacoma was loaded with emergency provisions. In other words, we prepared ourselves for a flat tire, breaking down, or getting stuck in any number of ways. We do our best to be self-sufficient.

using a mobile air compressor after changing a flat tire on the RV

Spare tire installed. Al makes sure it has the proper inflation

This is the second time our Viair Portable Compressor has come in handy. We normally keep it stored in the belly of the RV, but because of all the off roading we had done during the previous few weeks in the Tacoma, the air compressor, hydraulic jack and lug wrench were all in my backseat and easily retrieved.

changing a flat tire on a RV

Al and his supervisor.

I’m not sure why we maintained our jovial spirits, but we did. Five years ago when we first started this journey, I would’ve been near tears and concerned when confronted with this mishap. Today? I view it as a mere inconvenience that had me recalculating the schedule of the day. And when you think about it, a flat tire is so much easier to deal with than engine trouble!

Highway 89 in northern Arizona

On the road again! Highway 89 in northern Arizona

Less than two hours later the spare was installed and we were on the road again heading south on highway 89 in northern Arizona. We had about a three hour drive in front of us, but we had planned to break up that drive by pulling over somewhere for lunch …. which was all prepared and waiting for us in the RV refrigerator. Traveling with your home in tow is the best and the only way I like to travel these days.

The rest of the day was uneventful and smooth sailing, thank goodness. When we pulled into our planned boondocking location near Cottonwood, Arizona, we snagged a nice slice of land to call home for a couple of nights.

Black and White photography of Verde River near Cottonwood Arizona

Verde River near Cottonwood, Arizona

Two days later, we hit the road again and an hour later we pulled into our summer ‘home’ (with the spare still on the RV). Fortunately, our one hour drive went without incidence.

Fairgrounds RV Park Prescott Valley Arizona

Our ‘home’ for the summer. I love watching cattle and antelope graze in the open field across the street. Prescott Valley, Arizona

I had concerns that I wasn’t going to like my RV site since the RV Park wouldn’t confirm which site they intended to assign us when I called a few days earlier to confirm our reservation. Turns out, they did assign us the site that I requested. This was one time I was glad my gut was wrong. I’m super pleased they were able to accommodate my request.

Yep, this’ll work nicely for the next few months while we tend to some maintenance on our equipment as well as some dental issues. Oh and did I mention my son (who lives in Phoenix) is getting married this August? The wedding planning is in full swing and I love being only an hour away so I can join in on any preparations or festivities. Should be a fun summer!

RV Fairgrounds Prescott Valley Arizona

Sunset seen from my RV site in Prescott Valley, Arizona

Products we used during the day of our travel. Note – affiliate links

Viair RV Portable Compressor Kit
Two-Way Radio
Hydraulic Jack
Lug Wrench

Time flies when you’re having fun!

Wow, I can’t believe our stay in Phoenix has already come to an end.¬† The past two plus weeks have flown by.¬† We even extended our stay at Lake Pleasant by a couple of days because we just weren’t ready to leave.Phoenix Arizonadesert sunsetsAs usual, the desert sunsets did not disappoint.¬† Since our days were filled and¬†thus we were kept pretty busy, it was always a treat to relax¬†in the¬†evening and enjoy the view over a drink.

So what kept us so busy?¬† ¬†Well, the new couch lead to a few other projects; some necessary and some just for fun.¬† The just for fun projects¬†started with¬†removing the wallpaper border which I found outdated, unnecessary, and simply didn’t like.

Although tedious, it was a fairly simple job that required a little muscle to pull and peel off the wallpaper border.  Any left behind adhesive was easily removed with soap and water.

Smart TileNext up was installing a tile backsplash around the stove.¬† I didn’t feel I had a lot of options as I don’t believe in using ‘real’ tile in a RV.¬† After a bunch of research I¬†went with the “Smart Tiles”.¬† Basically they are a resin/plastic based peel and stick product that is flexible.

I know a lot of RV’s out there have beautiful ceramic tile installed and¬†it looks great.¬† However, the home builder in me emerges and I just can’t help but feel¬†it’s just a matter of time before cracks develop in¬†real tile and grout.¬†¬† A ridged, breakable product installed in a moving object¬†just doesn’t seem to compute in my mind.

I recall a¬†fellow RV’er once saying, “We live in a rolling earthquake”, and boy was she right.Phoenix Arizona

Next up, we had some necessary maintenance done which we enlisted the help of professionals.¬† We took the RV over to Little Dealer Little¬†Prices and¬†had the wheel bearings repacked.¬† This is something that should be done about every 10,000 to 12,000 miles¬†or every one to two years and we were definitely pushing it.¬† So I’d say we were a little overdue.trailer bearings

There’s a lot of maintenance Al and I do ourselves, but¬†repacking the wheel bearings¬†is a messy job that we felt best¬†left to the professionals¬†that have¬†the facility¬†and equipment to tackle the job properly.

And while the RV was in the shop, we had the waste tank release mechanisms reworked.¬† Our release levers worked on a cable system, which¬†I think¬†is the most ridiculous asinine method ever developed.¬† It sure is a crappy situation when one of those cables decides to break ūüėȬ† The new levers are fantastic and offer piece of mind.

Once out of the shop, Al and I went to work on some other household maintenance. Al cleaned out the ‘basement’ and reorganized.¬† Any items we felt we wouldn’t need over the next few months would be stored over at our son’s home.¬† Let’s lighten the load!¬† While Al (at least part of him) was in the basement, I was on the roof with the caulking gun touching up.¬† After all, our journey would be taking us from the dry arid desert to the moist Gulf coast.trailer bearings

Our time in Phoenix, Arizona,¬†wasn’t all work.¬† We managed to incorporate plenty of¬†visits with our son and several get together’s with fellow RVer’s.RVing in Phoenix

And did I already mention the fabulous sunsets?  I could get used to these views.

Saturday we enjoyed dinner with our son and hugged¬†him and my little red truck goodbye for a few months.¬† My Tacoma is safely parked in our son’s garage while we head off to the Texas Gulf Coast.Pleasant Harbor RV Resort

The Texas journey begins ……

 

Mosaik Self Adhesive Wall Tile in Murano Dune (Set of 6)

Dicor EPDM Rubber Roof Lap Sealant, 10.3 oz, White 501LSW-1

 

Antenna E.D.

Hubby and I have talked about making a written check list.¬† You know, the kind of list pilots use.¬† After almost a year of full-time RVing, we still haven’t made that list; a take off list so to speak, a list to review before hitting the road.

Knowing Al and I, we’d probably forget to use¬†the list¬†anyway.¬† And speaking of forgetting; check out the photo of us¬†visiting the dump station¬†at the Fruita visitor center.¬†¬†The visitor center is¬†located just west of Grand Junction, Colorado,¬†in¬†the town of Fruita¬†and is a great place to stop, relax,¬†and pick up all kinds of info on the beautiful state of Colorado.

erectile disfunctionLooks like someone forgot to lower the TV antenna.¬† The helicopter is part of a lovely Vietnam War Memorial and the rugged terrain of the Colorado National Monument can be seen in the distance.¬† We¬†always enjoy our time¬†hanging around¬†the quaint little town of Fruita….¬† gateway to the Colorado National Monument and nearby world renowned biking trails.

While staying in my brother and sister-in-laws driveway, we would make a weekly visit to the Fruita visitor center¬†to clean our tanks.¬† We wanted to¬†make sure our tanks didn’t come close to filling.¬† Hmm, where’s that check list?¬† We obviously made it to the center without a problem with the antenna in the erect position, but on the return drive we weren’t so lucky.¬†¬†Our TV antenna met some tree branches and after a quick altercation, the tree won.erectile dysfunction

No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t erect the antenna.¬† It was official, our antenna was suffering from erectile dysfunction.¬† This was a problem a blue pill couldn’t fix.¬†¬†The antenna¬†was also beat up pretty¬†bad and the mother board was even exposed.

Al and I were surprised the antenna worked at all, but it did ok by bringing in a couple of channels which allowed us a little TV viewing until we could have a new antenna delivered.  We even received some reception during a heavy rainstorm which amazed us considering how damaged and exposed the antenna was.

After some research, we chose this Jack RV TV antenna that doesn’t require raising and lowering.¬† No more need to remember to crank the antenna down.¬† Yay!

JACK Digital HDTV Over-The-Air Antenna w/Built in Signal Finder – White

Although it was relatively easy to install the new antenna, it did take us most of the morning to complete the task.RV antenna repair

First the old RV antenna needed to be removed and since we have a rubber roof on the 5th wheel, it was crucial we take our time and not cause any damage to the roof.  Al used a blow dryer to heat up the old caulk and with a PLASTIC putty knife he gently lifted it to remove.  A metal putty knife could easily rip the rubber roof membrane.RV antennas

RV rubber roofsOnce the old antenna was removed, we set about installing the new one.  Once Al had everything hooked up and fastened with screws, I set about with the caulking. I used a special RV roof sealant that has a rubber consistency once dried.caulking RV roof

Geocel 56801 White Advanced RV EPDM Roof Sealant

We’ve been enjoying our new antenna for about a week now and are¬†very pleased.¬† We seem to get better reception and the colors appear to be more vibrant…… better yet, we don’t¬†need to remember to¬†lower the antenna before hitting the road.replacing RV antenna

A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty – Winston Churchill

Body work & Body work

Moab UtahThe heat in Moab had us moving on in search of cooler temps and Glenwood Springs, Colorado, proved to be the perfect location.  Moab starts heating up toward the end of May with temperatures in the 90 degree plus range.  Those temps will only increase as summer approaches.  Thus, spring and fall are the best times to visit this part of Utah.

It‚Äôs all about elevation when it comes to temperatures and knowing we have a few more repairs and purging to complete on the RV, Al and I seek out some of those cooler temps.¬† We‚Äôre familiar with some private land south of the town of Glenwood Springs sitting at an elevation of 6,600 feet.¬† After a quick phone call to the owner and a ‚Äėcome on down‚Äô response, we were quickly on our way.

I‚Äôm so excited to be back in this part of Colorado.¬† One of my ‚Äėbucket list‚Äô locations is just 40 minutes down the road and I can‚Äôt wait to set my eyes on it.¬† Play before work!Maroon Bells

The Maroon Bells are the most photographed mountains in North America and what a vision they are.  Our visit was early in the season and the Aspen trees were still bare but budding plants were everywhere.Maroon BellsMaroon BellsI picked the Crater Lake Trail at the Maroon Bells for the days excursion.  The 3.6 mile round trip hike is rocky and climbs about 700 feet in elevation.

We weren’t surprised that after an hour of hiking and hiking partly in snow that we had to turn around before reaching Crater Lake.

The snow kept getting deeper and eventually we lost sight of the trail.  I was seeking cooler temps after the heat in Moab and I sure found them here at 9,600 plus feet.
Maroon BellsWe did manage to climb quite a bit in elevation and at one point we could see Maroon Lake below.  Our starting point and the parking lot are on the far side of the lake.Maroon Bells

Since we weren’t able to reach our destination for lunch, we returned to a bench along Maroon Lake to eat and take in the surrounding scenery.¬† Al and I both agreed this is one of the most beautiful places we’ve ever visited.¬† I’m hoping we can arrange¬†a revisit in July for wildflowers and in September for fall colors.¬†Maroon Bells

The Maroon Bells are¬†a truly stunning sight to behold and my photos don’t even begin to do justice to the area.¬† For some stunning photos of the area Google Maroon Bells.¬†Maroon Bells

The next day, it was all Al and I could do not to return to the Maroon Bells, but alas work needed to be completed.  While Al was diligently working on the body of the RV by replacing the wheel fender; the fender that was damaged from the blown tire and all taped up,

body work

new fender and wheel covers

body workI was diligently working on my body in preparation for the upcoming summer weather.  Time to get out those shorts.

A little body work on the RV…… check!
A little body work on moi….check!

All we have left to complete is one more little fix after some silly forgetfulness¬†and we’re back in business.¬† Well, perhaps¬†we still need to do a¬†little more cabinet purging, but we’ll continue working on that during a rainy day.

Next up…… what’s with that antenna?Maroon Bells



Classic Accessories 76250 RV Wheel Cover, Pair, White, 29″ – 31.75″ Wheel Diameter

Moab again and new tires

Hubby and I have been a couple of very busy campers lately.  First let’s just say Moab’s slogan of “again and again – the adventure never ends” is very fitting and I know Al and I will be returning to Moab again and again.boondocking RVing

We were back in Moab, Utah, boondocking with pals Linda and Mike for about a week before it was time for us to be moving on in separate directions.  But before moving, we all managed to get in some hiking, exploring, and a little socializing…..ok maybe it was a lot of socializing, but who’s keeping track  ūüėČ Moab Utah

Why is it all the problems of the world seem to fade away over cocktails and an open fire?  Or perhaps we just felt somehow we solved all the problems.  Now if only someone would listen!RVing in Utah

The guy below sure didn’t listen to anyone and ended up getting himself stuck in a sandy wash.  Several days earlier it rained; first flooding the wash then compacting the sand, but as the sand dried out the sand got softer and softer making it impassable for anything other than a serious 4×4.  Yep, he’s calling AAA and they DID tow him out.stuck in sandAl and Mike even came to the rescue of a couple of Aussie kids young adults in a mini van.  This was their camp.  What made them think they could drive a mini van back there?camping in Moab

Two old spry men, a F-250, and rope…. can I hear a little male grunting “arrr, arrr, arrr” followed later by the clanking of beer bottles, “cheers” to success.  The Aussie’s were very grateful especially since the vehicle was borrowed from a friend and they had no other affordable options.  A “thanks mate” was all that was necessary.

wildlife in Moab

Beware of wildlife while camping in Moab

So with our fun in Moab over, we head back to Colorado and finish up some repairs.Moab Utah

I will say, having the new tires was a comfort during our travels.  We had the tires replaced before our return to Moab.   After experiencing a couple of blown tires on the 5th wheel, it feels a bit more reassuring to have a complete new set of tires all around when hitting the road.Discount Tire

Being in the home building business for many years, it was rather common for us to have tire issues.  Issues that centered mostly around air loss due to nails in tires.  Discount Tires has always treated us well and after a substantial amount of trailer tire research, we chose the Discount Tire in Grand Junction, Colorado, to do the work.  We spend the majority of our travels meandering around Colorado or Arizona and both states offer plenty of Discount Tire store locations in the event we have any tire issue that needs to be addressed.

We opted to go with their 10 ply trailer tire and not a truck tire.  We had 3 different tire shops in 3 different states recommend we use a 10 ply TRAILER tire.  Trailer tires are designed to withstand the scooching motion that occurs when maneuvering the trailer.

trailer tiresA motorhome, truck, or car all have axles that turn as the vehicle turns and thus the tires always move in the direction of the vehicle.  A trailer has stationary axles and as the trailer is maneuvered around, the tires aren’t always rolling but rather scooching or sliding.  The trailer tire side walls are specifically designed for this motion where as a truck tire is not.

Another thing we were adamant about was checking the dates on the new tires before installation.  Trailer tires should be replaced every 5 years regardless of mileage.  The manufacture date is clearly stamped on the side of the tire.trailer tiresOur new tires were manufactured the 15th week of the year 2014.  Thus our new tires were only 6 weeks old when we had them installed. Happy campers!

Next up, we complete some body work……..Moab Utah

Northwest Enterprises Hard Plastic Two Piece 5-1/2-Ounce Wine Glasses, Clear, 40 Count

Clear Plastic Margarita Glasses (1 dz)

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. ūüėÄ

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 d√©cor¬†….well as happy as one could be with RV d√©cor.¬†¬†I think the manufactures are finally starting to hire some professional interior decorators. ¬†I’m starting to see¬†some¬†newer RV’s¬†with attractive d√©cor. ¬†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