Discovering all the things I need to fix on the RV
So we’ve spent about 12 days now on the RV and discovered a few things that aren’t working quite the way we’d like. When we were looking at RVs, we brought an inspector who gave us a list of things he could see. And we remedied some of those. And we knew there were a few items on this rig that would need a bit of attention, but I think until you spend some time in it, you’ll just never see or know all the little things that might need fixing or attention.
We already fixed the shower leak (so far anyway), but we’ve found a few other items we need to deal with.
- The backup camera monitor is ‘bad’ apparently. So the dealer took out the old, original radio – I loved the original radio, and put in an all-in-one backup monitor, GPS, radio, DVD player with screen. I hate it. It was easier than getting the old monitor out I guess, due to how it’s glued in?? At any rate, the monitor part is sub par, and the rest of it has little use to us. I can’t look at the all-in-one while I’m driving to figure out the on screen menus to change from back up to GPS, to Radio, or whatever. I’d have to take my eyes off the road too long and the monitor for back up is too far over from the driver and smaller, so it’s hard to really get use out of it. I’m also afraid of the resale value due to this. I’m also learning that many people don’t use the backup camera for changing lanes like I thought would be useful.
- (fixed)We rarely watch tv, but the TV antenna isn’t able to be cranked up as it’s broken. I’ve ordered parts from Amazon to try to repair it, we’ll see how that works. It’s not nec, but I hate things that don’t work. This could affect resale value potentially.
- The radio antenna is broken off. While I was up on the roof (scary when you’re afraid of heights) to look at the TV antenna, I saw that. I also saw that the sealing around everything has small separations around it. Not sure if that’s normal or a problem coming soon.
- (fixed)The water heater leaks. I saw the signs before we bought it, but the story was that it was probably a fixed leak or a leak from repair. Well, I was actively watching it leak out the drain(?) hole the other day.
- (fixed)The main slide has a hydraulic leak. I tried to wrench it tighter, but no luck.
- (fixed)One bolt/screw on the black tank release valve is leaking just a bit. It all looks (and operates fine) but the bottom bolt is leaking and rusted. It will eventually need to be replaced.
- The locks on the outdoor lockers are old and stiff. Sure silicone or graphite or something, but really, they just need to be replaced. The keys are worn and I had to break open one of the locks to actually open the bay. After, of course it worked the first time and we put stuff in there.
- On the passenger side, there is a locker behind the dually tires that had been broken from a previous blowout. I want to fix that, but not sure how or if it really matters. It’s still usable, just a black mark, sort of. And again, will affect resale value.
- (fixed)On one set of dually tires, there is the inflate valve extenders?. But on the other, there isn’t. Again, not a huge deal at the moment, but it bugs anyway. It needs to be added if I’m going to be able to maintain tire pressure.
- On the main slide, the inside seal is pealing away when I open the slide. Doesn’t seem like a good idea to let that be… winter is coming, and so is ‘el nino’.
- (stopped)Recently, the small bathroom fan started squealing at times. But the blades were just replaced. So, we’ll keep an eye and ear on it.
- It comes with walkie-talkies and a charger built-in right next to the door. It has 4 of them, but they don’t work well at all. I wish it didn’t have them. We have our own that work better.
- (fixed)The couch is a fold-out bed. None useful to us at all. I’d prefer a jacknife with some storage underneath, but worse, when you sit on it, you sink in – a lot. And that makes it useless.
- The kitchen pantry cabinet, has a pull-out rack, but it doesn’t seem to come out all the way and all (ALL) the bolts at the bottom are rusted. This seems really odd to me and a bad sign.
- The rig seems to go thru the leveling routine, fine, but it never seems completely level. I’m thinking this just needs to be re-calibrated. (update) The leveling is off a bit. I tried to re-level it and then reset it, but I’m not sure I did myself any good. It’s still a bit off and now the rig shakes more and the main door and the shower door are a bit off, too. I’ll try fixing those again today by pulling up the levelers and re-leveling manually a little at a time using a level, and checking the swing of doors and cabinet doors.
- The slides don’t always seem level when they are all out. I can’t tell for sure, but they look off.
- Behind the couch there seems to be a slight breeze – I can feel air when I put my face between the couch top and the the slide wall. I’m just concerned that there is something I can’t see that is not sealed.
- It’s not the fastest engine, we’ve sort of named the rig, the ‘chug-a-lug-a-bug’ as it seems pretty slow getting upto speed. But I don’t know what is normal. We’ve also heard of the ‘Banks System’ – seems a way to optimize the engine power by re calibrating the computer and adding more exhaust. All this to give better flow to the engine, thereby creating more power for those hills, etc. (update: we found out that the fuel pump is sounding bad. We had it replaced with OEM Ford, and it seems to drive a bit better, doesn’t sound much better)
- Again, we rarely watch TV, but … The dealer changed the TV to a ROKU TV, which for some is probably fine. I prefer a regular TV for a couple reasons: 1) faster turn-on time – the ROKU takes about a minute to come on and then gives you a menu. It’s basically a small computer; 2) to change channels, you have to scroll thru a whole list, but cannot actually enter a channel #; 3) it has online streaming like Amazon, which we watch thru prime, but the remote is just arrow keys, so you can’t search except by scrolling thru letters to type a search phrase, plus the layout of searching is just limited.
We’re used to connecting a computer straight to the tv and using a small remote keyboard to run it and type. Many more options. Maybe we’ll get used to it, or do both, but it’s odd to us and really, we rarely watch TV anyway.
- We really need to have the engine and fuel lines looked at. Just to make sure all is good. Cracks lead to leaks. Leaks lead to fires. Yikes!
- And we need to have the coach weighed. We’ve recently learned that sometimes coaches come out heavier than the paperwork weights would have you believe – which puts a lot of strain on the suspension and chassis, not to mention makes driving harder. It also limits how much you can load into them, and how much you can tow.(update: we did weigh it and we were underweight, but our fuel was down to 1/4 tank and propane as well and the dogs, and 2 people. So, we’re probably pretty close if not a bit over)
Now just to throw these things out there, we’ve also realized a few things we really dislike and that are pretty common to most RVs.
- The short beds are 74-75 inches instead of a normal 80 inches. This means on just about every night as you scoot down a bit, your feet end up hanging off the bed. While in our sticks house, we had a California King, which is 84 inches long and I’m really missing that. (update: we got bed extenders and are looking to build a 6″ extension on end of bed that folds away when putting slides in)
- The shower size: it’s not quite square, but mostly square with a door that cuts at an angle – think almost triangular. It’s 32 inches x 32 inches which is really actually small. The drain is right by the door which is where we tend to stand while in the shower, so it’s awkward and it’s also the least supported part of the floor. So it feels like you’re going to fall through the floor.
It’s also cramped. I forgot to measure, but I’m sure our shower in the sticks home was at least 36 inches square – not a huge difference, but significant. And with the small door and the 8 inch apron on this shower (the height above ground to accommodate the plumbing) it makes it a real pain to get out of the shower. Squeeze through the tight door and then watch your step and try not to fall onto the toilet. Sheesh.
Whoever designed this gets an award for squeezing one of the most essential items in a home into the smallest, most awkward space possible.
And yes, the water pressure (or lack of it) is apparently ‘normal’ for RVs and we swapped the shower head out for a Oxygenics Shower Head which made a huge difference.
- The carpet. It needs to be cleaned but we’re not sure the best way. Yes carpet cleaning but in an RV, the carpet is on top of the plywood and regular carpet cleaning can leave moisture on the plywood leading to mildew and that doesn’t sound good. Dry cleaning leaves granules and so there must be a better way to clean the carpets. Maybe like the dry cleaners for clothes? or some steam that uses less water than usual? I’m open to ideas.
So far, that’s all (enough) I’ve found. Several more things I’d prefer to upgrade, but not sure what to do about it all. For recreation, everything is fine. But to live in this and not get frustrated by things, I’d like to see about getting as much fixed and upgraded as possible to increase the odds of loving life on the road.
I’d love to hear anyone else’s thoughts, other items to look at, and how they remedied these things.