Light through the side of the wall…



the-price-of-freedom

What does it mean when you’re sitting in the lounge and you see daylight underneath the sofa?  Clearly, it’s not something good. That was what I noticed the other day.  A quick walk outside and a maintenance problem appeared that was easy enough and inexpensive enough to fix.  I like that kind of problem!

After a quick trip to Home Depot for the proper size screws I refastened the piece of weatherstripping that wipes the bottom side of the lounge slide-out. Over the last 11 years that in and out motion of the slide (extended, retracted, extended, retracted) had stressed the few attachment points of the rubber gasket and pulled a few of the screws loose — allowing the gasket to move away from the wall and allow a little light to come in — and a little cold as well — and potentially little critters also — but we have not had that problem.  There really should have been more attachment points.  I could see that easily. And now there are.

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a couple of the added fasteners – the old fasteners simply weren’t adequate to hold the weatherstripping with longterm use.

The Price of RV freedom is eternal vigilance!  If you own an RV you just have to keep checking and checking to make sure that all is well with your ride, your house, your little bit of heaven.

In over 5 years we really haven’t had a lot of things to fix with our RV.  Some of them were shear wear and tear worn out — the toppers over the slides were like that.  And 11 years use from a piece of fabric out in the wind all the time is — I think — a pretty reasonable expectation.  And of course there was the Norcold replacement.  I’m sure we could have had the old one repaired but I was tired of the inadequacies of the Norcold system so that was a personal choice on my part.

But my point is that you find little things that need attention.  Caught early they are small repairs; left to worsen they can steal your bank account.  It’s all up to you.

After fixing the weatherstripping at the bottom of one slide I did an inspection of all four slides and there were no more problems.  Little things like that happen on a vehicle that might not happen on a house.  RV’s are subject to a lot of shaking and vibration. A few months ago I found a lower body panel shaking in the wind — it was right by the wheel well and when I got down on my knees and looked up at it I saw that a machine screw had fallen out.  Replacing the old screw with another of the same size (and a little Lock-Tite) and all was well again.

osb-plywood-1
Oriented Stand Board (or OSB) may be a wonderful product, but when subjected to water it puffs up and loses it’s strength

Most RV’ers I’ve known have discovered problems with the gaskets around their slides when leaks occurred.  But it’s not that hard to inspect the gaskets every few months and insure that they are sealing correctly.  After all, sometimes it’s just a matter that the gasket material has curled under and running your awning hook up and down the length of the gasket will un-curl the gasket — returning your RV to the “land of all is well.”  The problem can be bigger — weatherstripping does get old and brittle — sometimes it needs replacing (not often, but some of these RV’s are still on the road 20 years after manufacture). No one wants to wake up and find a puddle of water in the RV!  Worse… no one wants to deal with the damage that water can do to OSB — the material so many RV manufacturers seem enamored of!

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The layout of our coach roof was not simple BEFORE we put 900 watts of solar panels up there. Now it’s even more congested. It pays to check on that stuff from time to time.

Among the many checks that are worthwhile to do are a regular inspection of your roof.  You know, most people can’t see what’s going on up there on top of the RV.  I know I’m not tall enough to do so!  And a lot of RV shops will do a free roof inspection when you have the RV in the shop for routine maintenance.  If you have a motorcoach like we do you are going to want to change the oil (at least) annually — what better time to have someone get up on the roof and look for leaks, cracks that aren’t yet leaks (in caulking), etc., before little maintenance issues become much bigger repair bills!

I like maintenance.  Maintenance is cheaper than repairs.  Maintenance is good.  Us RV’ers should repeat that like a mantra, “maintenance is good, maintenance is good, maintenance is good…”

Thanks for stopping, and I’ll be here to chat tomorrow.  Why not stop and see what’s up!

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6 Comments

  1. Yes, maintenance is a good thing, Peter! Our furnace wouldn’t stay lit the other day…turns out the foggy moist air we were driving in caused a bad electrical connection to the gas valve. Simple fix to clean the connector!

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  2. Maintenance is so overlooked when buying purchases…any purchases. Yet, when things are maintained they last so much longer and in the end are actually more cost effective.

    Like

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