Wednesday, September 19, 2012

How Do I Fix My RV?

It is estimated that there are over 8 million people in the United States that have an RV (pop-up, tow behind, truck camper, or motorhome) in their life and of these numbers, over 1 million have embraced the full-time lifestyle. With this many units on the road, there are always questions that need to be answered. How do I prepare for a trip? Where is a good place to stay? How do I empty my holding tanks? What can I cook?

These and many, many others questions have been asked for years. fortunately, there are many ways to find answers but unfortunately sometimes these sources are hard to find. There are forums, blogs, and vast quantities of ebooks available for the average consumer. But I must caution you to "let the buyer beware".

We are all aware of the one or two individuals in our lives who are experts on everything but masters of nothing. Well the same is true in the RV world. I have seen many ebooks and short essays describing how to do a process or fix a problem which, to one that has no knowledge, sounds wonderful, but in fact is completely wrong. How do I recognize this? Experience. I have been camping for over 50 years, starting out in a tent with my parents and moving up to a motorhome that I have now. I love the lifestyle. But with all these years (and I am far from being done yet!) came problems and repairs that had to be done... and also learning some new things from more experienced people around me. Now don't get me wrong, I am all for the RV repair places. Sometimes a job is best left to those professionals who are trained in a certain area. But sometimes the "amateur professional" (like me) can perform the same repairs the same way using the same parts for a fraction of the price.

This is where repair manuals, articles and plain conversations with others come in. There is no reason that anybody who owns an RV can't do simple repairs and maintenance on their rig. It is cost effective and in the long run can keep the value of the rig longer.

So what am I saying? When your water heater doesn't light, look up some possible causes and take the time to troubleshoot. There is no reason why you shouldn't be able to correct the problem or at least be more educated so if you decide to bring to a repair tech you have a better handle on what the repairs might be and how much. Now don't get me wrong. I am not saying that you should positively do all your own repairs. Personally I take anything that involves propane piping (leaks, fittings, regulators, etc.) or shore power (110 v, grounding, fault protection) to an expert for safety and my peace of mind. That's not saying that I wouldn't replace a water heater or stove, because there is a set procedure commonly published to check for leaks, etc. I just feel that some repairs should be left to the experts.

1 comment:

  1. As much as possible, if you can still fix things yourself, do it. However if you need help, don’t hesitate to call a professional if you strictly want everything to be over and done, with less complications. :)

    - Mid-State RV Center