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July 11, 2011

When we went to the RV Saturday, we stopped at the office and inquired about the cost of a covered space with electrical connections.  As it turned out, the electrical is only 20 amp, and the covered space would have been about $60 more per month.  I had thought it would be nice to have the rig hooked up to shore power so we could turn on the air conditioner when we went over to do things inside.  But I couldn’t justify the additional cost.  Besides, once we get the onboard generator working again, we’ll be able to run the a/c anyway.  That generator is also important for running the interior air conditioning when we’re rolling down the highway.  All of my research backs up what the dealer told us: it’s typical of a motorhome of this size that the dash a/c just doesn’t do the job, and we’re told that the added load on the engine uses more fuel than the generator will.  And besides, there are going to be times when we won’t have shore power, and we’ll need the generator.

We’ve found an RV mechanic who was referred by the folks at the RV storage place.  We met with him for the first time, at the RV, this past Saturday.  The first thing he’s doing is getting two new deep cycle house batteries.  The existing batteries are about 2 ½ years old, and although the cells were full of water, they were beginning to show on the weak side when he tested them.  It’s possible the weak batteries aren’t providing enough starting power for the onboard generator.  I know I could swap the batteries out myself, but he’s getting them at a reduced cost, so we’ll call it a wash cost-wise.

It will be hard to know if there’s a serious problem with the generator until we can get it to crank.  Unfortunately, we weren’t able to run the generator for about four months, so we’re hoping it isn’t seriously damaged by lack of use.  It did run beautifully when we bought the RV, so if there’s a problem, it’s our fault for not running it often enough.  The mechanic did reassure us that if the
generator had been low on oil, it would have shut itself off before doing any damage.  My hope is that the biggest problem is gunked up fuel lines, and that it’s a problem that can be resolved without a new generator.

Paul, the mechanic, works at an RV service company in addition to doing this work on his own.  He checked out the roof, and proclaimed it in very good shape, although both air conditioning units need new covers.  Both of them have been damaged, with part of the fiberglass covers torn off.  As one who doesn’t like heights, I failed to go up on the roof when we bought the RV, so I can’t say if the covers were already damaged or not.  I did climb the ladder behind him and confirmed one of the damaged covers, and our 15 year old grandson went up with him and confirmed the other one.

Having a mechanic to work with is going to help us make sure everything is in good working order.  We felt good about the dealer’s assessment of this motorhome, but it is 13 years old after all, with high mileage, so now is the time to get a second look and reassure ourselves that it’s ready for move-in and travel.

Aside from meeting with the mechanic, we removed all the cabinet hardware.  That consisted of 41 cabinet and drawer handles (all identical).  We bought a can of spray paint (Rustoleum), and test sprayed one of the handles.  On Sunday, we looked at the handle after it had dried, and decided that we weren’t pleased with the way the painted handle looked.  So we went to Home Depot and bought new handles, then went to the RV and installed them all.  They’re sleek, simple and clean, and the entire interior has a cleaner, up to date look just with that one change.

We’re going to get ballpark estimates for redoing the vinyl flooring.  We may also let them replace the foldout sofa with recliners.  We would find and buy the recliners, and let them do the replacement labor.  Where we may not be able to get the new recliners through the door, their normal approach is to remove a window and bring them in that way.  While the spirit is willing, at 67, I find that there is something to be said for letting the professionals do some things.  A lot of this depends on the cost, of course.

What’s important is that we’re moving forward.  One thing I need to do is find a nice RV park somewhere within a short commute to Nell’s job.  It’s going to take a while for the house to sell, but we need to know
where we’re going when it does.

And… along those lines, I just got a call from the scheduling service.  Someone wants to show the house this afternoon.  That’s always a good thing.

One Comment leave one →
  1. September 3, 2011 3:14 am

    Mr Parker….I’m probably one of the oldest groupies you have…but I enjoy your posts and wish you well with your motorhome. If you are ever up in the East Texas area….I live in Longview and work (part-time) selling RV’s at one of the best dealers in the state–Hayes RV. They have been serving the Rver’s for over 30 years….so if you need any help when you are in our area…give us a call. …course I can’t fix nothin’….I’m in sales ;-}. Happy paintin’ and RVing.

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