August 30, 2012 by Barry & Monique Zander · 13 Comments  
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By Barry Zander, Edited by Monique Zander, the Never-Bored RVers

We remember when, six years ago, we bought our first 22-foot travel trailer and prepared for full-time life on the road.  We were parked at our son’s desert hide-away, learning everything we didn’t know about living in an RV.  Joe and Vicki Kieva’s books and columns on RVing were too advanced for us.  (The 22-footer, as cute as it was, lasted a year before we decided the RV life was for us, but the time had come for a more durable vehicle.)

I fondly recall mentioning to the satellite dish installer working on top of the trailer in the desert heat that we didn’t know where to connect the hose to fill the freshwater tank.  He showed us what we should have learned in the 45-minute walk-through when we purchased the trailer.

Monique and son Patrick do all the work while I write about it on the computer.

Monique and son Patrick do all the work while I write about it on the computer.

We’ve progressed far from those neo-natal days of excitement and dread.  We have parked 403 times in different places overnight in 36 states and 3 provinces so far.  We’ve been to what I consider every conceivable kind of camping spot, from a cousin’s driveway to Yellowstone, from Alaska to “I’m too tired to go any further.”

Bear with me for a moment more to find out where your experience and expertise comes in.

After five years of continuous RV travel, we have been almost stationary for the past year while we turned a tiny mountain cabin into a livable abode, as we look farther down the road to when factors beyond our control suggest that we become part-timers.

September is just around the corner, and we are ready to hitch up and move on out for 10 or more months.  We will leave our perch in the West to return to New Orleans (we were in that

Evidence of the splendid job done on the rig

Evidence of the splendid job done on the rig

area for two wonderful months last spring), and then on to Key West (we were there for three months at the end of 2009 to 2010).

From there our plans call for climbing the East Coast to Maine and meeting up with a Fantasy Tours caravan into the Canadian Maritimes.  More on all that in the months ahead.

With the help of a son, our 28-foot Bigfoot is getting glamorized – that is, waxed and buffed.  We’ve already drained the freshwater tank, treated it with chlorine bleach, flushed out the water heater, refilled and added baking soda, and we’ll soon drain again and add more fresh water.

In the next few weeks, I’ll write about all the things we are doing to get ready to go back on the road.  I mention this thinking about all the snowbirds, who are wondering the same things at this time of year.  “Are we ready?”

Considering the exterior, these are the items on our to-do list:  wax (almost done); de-oxidize and treat the rubber gaskets around the slide; inspect and recaulk roof where last year’s caulking is suspect; check out all the lights; clean the awning; grease and inspect underneath; apply white lithium grease to the slide mechanism; check the tires and suspension; and …

… This is where you come in.  I’d like you to add in the Comments Section below your suggestions on other exterior chores to do, or better ways to do any of them.

I mentioned the freshwater system.  Readers of this blog welcome your comments on that, too.

In the days ahead, we’ll write about preparations with batteries and electrical systems, interior, the truck (in our case) or the motorhome engine; tires; generators and compressors; trip planning including GPS choices; and anything else you and I can think of.

The snows are a-comin’; the adventures are just ahead.  Join me as we get ready.

From the “Never-Bored RVers,” We’ll see you on down the road.

© All photos by Barry Zander.   All rights reserved

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13 Responses to “RETURNING TO THE ROAD – PART 1”

  1. Lakotawolf18 on August 30th, 2012 9:47 pm

    You sound like you have the Rv maintenance under control. I basically do the same as you do, the wash,wax,adjust,grease,clean,check and double check and even triple check, cuz i know I will forget something. I wash mine every week, from the roof down. people dont realize,, but having a green fungus jungle garden on your roof is not pratical. plus washing off the crud and setiment,, you can visualize the potential problems before they become nasty problems. I re-coat my roof every year with sno-coat, even tho it has a lifetime leak warrantee. (by the way, my rig is 27 yrs old and still like new).1985 Funtime 24 ft, 5th wheel. I have owned several newer 5th wheels and they are JUNK in my opinion), poorly built from the factory.
    Heres some other things you can do to keep the wheels of Rv-ing going.
    Lubricate the spring shackles, with a waterproof white bearing grease, stops those annoying squeaks. Rub some surfboard wax along the window slides and door seals, keeps em fresh and sticky free. When you roll up your awning, and your going to have rv parked for awhile,, spray some Lysol along top of rolled up awning it stops mold and mildew from accumilating, plus it keeps it lasting longer. Leave a window slightly cracked open while parked,(even in storage), for fresh air circulation and put a box of baking soda in bath and kitchen area,, absorbs the moisture that creates odors and mold growth.
    Spray bleach all over tub area, then rinse and dry,, will stop mold growth there to while in storage.
    Plus re-pack or at least check wheel bearings every 3,000 to 5,000 miles.
    Check and clean all lights inside and out, Especially outside,, put some white grease on all the exterior light contacts and it will prevent rust and crud from shorting the lights out or loosing connectivity.Just a few add on tidbits, hope this helps you and everyone else reading this,, Remember *murfeys Law, its the little things that piss you off. Happy Rving.

  2. Sacramento plumber on August 31st, 2012 7:55 am

    CZZne of the main problems that a lot of people are dealing with when it comes to the plumbing system is the toilet. There are a lot of factors that could cause your toilet to have problems, and you need to make sure that you are aware of the simple things that you can do in order to fix your toilet and remove the clog in it. As we go through this article, I will be showing you some tips and advices on the things that you can do in order to fix your toilet.

  3. butterbean carpenter on August 31st, 2012 5:08 pm

    Howdy Zanders,
    Where have y’all been forsolong, hah??? Been missing y’all!!! Sounds like you have tried to cover everything, BUT, just in case you missed something checkout he’s the BIG DADDY OF RV MAINTENANCE & GETTING READY!!!!
    WHEN ARE WE GOING BACK TO Nawlins, hah?? That was one fun trip, WITH A ‘NATIVE’ TOUR GUIDE!!! Loved the ‘artwork’ in the French Q!!!! Get out before the snow ‘flies’, this time!!!

  4. Richard Boak on August 31st, 2012 6:37 pm

    Check the tire pressure, lug nut torque and condition of your sidewalls for signs of cracking. As you know trailer tires rarely have to be replaced because the tread is worn out, the sidewalls fail from age and UV damage. Have a great and safe trip

  5. Nicole @ My Camper Trailer on September 1st, 2012 8:04 am

    Wow! It is indeed a very interesting post. Keep on posting for more page/

  6. Larry Nutter on September 1st, 2012 8:48 am

    Overnight with us in Crestview, Fl on your way south.
    Sounds like all else is under control.

  7. Mike on September 1st, 2012 9:39 am

    Make sure not to just check your tire pressure and the outside for wear and weather cracks but also the stamp on one side or the other for the age of the tires.
    We full time and this summer we blew out two tires, luckily at different times and on different sides of the 5th wheel, We have a 37′ toyhauler. Anyway when I started checking the year of manufacture which is stamp into each tire but only on one side near the rim. I found out my tires were an off brand but not only that they were manufactured in 2004. They had plenty of tread and showed no signs of weather cracks. I talked to allot of people and a Truck driver/owner I know and what I found out is the tires can weather crack on the inside and you never see it. You should really put new tires on every 5 years. And just because your rig is newer dose NOT mean the tires weren’t sitting around a few years before they got put on your new trailer. Anyway we replaced the 4 trailer tires with new Goodyears and now 1500 more miles to the west coast and we’ve had no more tire issues. Thank goodness.

  8. Country Boy on September 2nd, 2012 1:05 pm

    Enjoy reading your articles. Just returned from Alaska and seeing some of the sites that you wrote about during your Alaskan trip.
    Tires and suspension are always for utmost importance. When traveling it is difficult to keep the UV rays from damaging the black rubber components. I use Aerospace 303 to protect the tires and slide rubber seals. Make sure your shocks are in good condition, a bad shock will allow the tire to bounce and cause premature tread wear.

  9. Greg on September 2nd, 2012 7:44 pm

    Dont forget the trailer brakes. When mine sat on a permanent site for a couple years, a couple of the drum brake springs rusted and broke. If you have the wheel bearings repacked, they can easily be checked. Have a great trip.

  10. The Unemployed Mom on September 4th, 2012 11:47 am

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  11. mallory harling on September 4th, 2012 10:29 pm

    I’ve enjoyed your blogs over the last couple of years and am curious why you selected and continue to use a travel trailer type rv ? With their limited storage capacity, I would have thought a 5th wheel type towable would have been more suitable for your long duration travels with some extended stays ?

    Appreciate hearing from you if you have the time to respond !

    Thanks ! Mal Harling

  12. josie on September 4th, 2012 11:38 pm

    Check the wiper blades to make sure they’re still in good shape, and fill the window washer. And drive careful and enjoy yoursleves!

  13. Roseville plumbers on November 11th, 2012 6:54 am

    Really nice tropic and rocking discussed to plumbers, thanks author