September 27, 2012 by Barry & Monique Zander · 3 Comments  
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By Barry Zander, Edited by Monique Zander, the Never-Bored RVers

Fall is Creeping In -- A Virginia Creeper

Fall is Creeping In -- A Virginia Creeper

The breeze passing by us this morning had a hint of chill.  My appraisal:  “This is not the time ‘to chill’ on getting ready for the winter trip southward.

I began my prep for getting under our RV by rounding up all the sprays and gook I might need.  I had wisely spread them out in various plastic bins and closets so I would slowly work my way up to the uncomfortable tasks: 1) get the cans,

Assortment of 'Goop'

Assortment of 'Gook'

etc.;   2) wash the undercarriage;  3) decide on the easiest jobs to do; 4) take a two-day break; 5) ATTACK!

The easiest job turned out to be spraying white lithium grease on the bars under the slide and then applying the white grease from a tube to the ratcheted parts.  Then, I took the black grease and stuck it to the leaf springs.

Applying Lithium Grease - 0029

That’s when I noticed two repair jobs needing attention.  A factory-installed box below the electrical hook-up cord was loose.  When this same thing happened to us while camping in the wilds of British Columbia in 2010, it was an invitation for mice – 9 of them – to invade.  Eight nights of interrupted sleep, but excellent fodder for my Sept. 7, 2010, blog: “EEEEEEEEEEEEK!

Not wanting to rewrite that article, Monday I high-tailed it to the True Value store and bought a can of the filler spray material (I usually call it the “horrid filler spray” because I tend to get it on my clothes, no matter how careful I try to be).  With that in hand, I first squirted away and then duct-taped around the now-sealed creviced opening.

Squirting Lithium - 028

Another patch job – a long strip of light shows under the slide bays.  For this task, while at the hardware story, I purchased a roll of waterproof foam weather stripping and applied it over the gap.  Job done.

While under the carriage, I checked out all the wiring and looked for daylight around where wiring and pipes enter through the floor.  No problems found, so I maneuvered my way from the underworld back into the light, rounded up all the gook, etc., and stored it all in one place, ready for a future step in the preparation, selecting what to take with us on our long venture cross-country.

Once my back has recovered, I’ll take on two more exterior functions:  1) tires and 2) the batteries.  Not much time left “to chill.”

DISCLAIMER: It’s probably obvious to the more mechanically minded among you that I am in the handyman category.  We are surrounded by real knowledgeable folks, who know RVs inside and out – like Mark Polk [] who is a regular on this blog site and who’s e-magazine is helpful and very sophisticated.

My first technical advisor, once I realized I had lots to learn, was Bob Livingston, whose “RV Repair and Maintenance Manual” is the standard for our lifestyle.  He now writes the “techsavvy” and publisher’s columns in Motorhome and other Good Sam Club magazines.

Two more names to know – Ken Freund and Jeff Johnson, who make up the Tech Team for Trailer Life’s “RV Clinic.”

The Air is a-Chillin' -- Time to Enjoy the Beauty of Autumn

The Air is a-Chillin' -- Time to Enjoy the Beauty of Autumn

As always I welcome and encourage your comments, questions and suggestions in the “Comments” section below.

My motto is:  “Try it myself, unless the risk is greater than the reward.”

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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  1. Davis S. on September 28th, 2012 5:03 pm

    We have been told not to apply any gook to my slide mechanism on our 2010 Winnebago Adventurer (3 slides) as it attracts dust and dirt which eventually would cause a major problem with that equipment. Been told to only sparingly apply the 3M spray (forgot the number) as it is a dry lubricant…Who is correct??

  2. Mike Hammer on September 28th, 2012 5:44 pm

    I have been told the same thing Dry lubricant, I use a silicon based dry spray lub. about twice a year on the slide.

  3. Kirk E Coats on September 28th, 2012 5:52 pm

    I’m on my third camper, second 5th wheel with 4 slides. The first travel trailer I owned was very slow and laborius moving it’s one slide in or out. Had heard the same thing about dirt, etc. collecting on grease.

    So I used WD-40 and liberally sprayed every part I could see having to do with the movement of the slide out. Then stuck the little red straw into the cavity between the floor and bottom and sprayed the heck out of the mechanism in there. Man that slide out took off like a shot. Never had problems with it laboring again!

    Both 5th wheels and their 4 slides had the same hard time moving in or out when they were new. My solution was the same with them. The liquid part of WD-40 evaporates and just leaves the lubricant. I never had to spray them again, but I did and still do it once a year just for good measure.

    Noone can convince me that WD-40 does not work. It has worked for me for 8 years now.

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