This post is just for fun.
I had a weird dream about our camper the other night.
At the risk of subjecting myself to wacko theories from all kinds of amateur psychoanalysts, I’m going to tell you about it.
In my dream, I was a passenger in the truck owned by a friend of my Uncle Ed. His name is Joe, and his F150 is one of those vehicles that was built to tow things. Big things. Heavy things. Like his big and heavy travel trailer. But in my dream he’s pulling my small, lightweight camper.
Uncle Ed is in the truck, too.
So we’re in Joe’s truck, he’s pulling my camper and we’re going fast. He goes fast over a set of three railroad tracks. These tracks are surrounded by woods.
A few hundreds yards or so we go down a very steep hill and I hear the camper bottom out behind us.
From the back seat of Joe’s quad cab truck, I turn around and see that the camper became separated from the truck. So, I yell for him to stop. Which he does.
We drive back to the camper, and as we’re getting closer I notice the only thing left of it is the floor. Nothing but the floor, the frame and the wheels. The floorboards were wood planks that looked like the floor of an old boat, and it was stripped clean of everything on top of it.
Not being stupid — remember, I’m dreaming — we decide to back track and find the rest of my camper.
Of course, we find it back at the railroad tracks. Well, we find the pile of it anyways. But what was weird — weirder — was that it was a big pile of camper stuff, but none if it was broken. It was like someone had disassembled the camper, piece by piece, and put it in a big pile. I distinctly remember seeing in my dream the kitchen cupboards sitting there with stuff still neatly in them, just as we had packed them.
Being cheap, I decided I could salvage it.
So the three of us started trying to hook up the pile to Joe’s truck. This makes no sense, because the floor and wheels of the camper were not underneath the pile of camper stuff, but whatever. This was my dream, and in it I am trying to hook up my camper pile to Joe’s truck.
Naturally, I can’t. The cables are in a huge knotted ball bigger than a basketball. I am trying to unravel it, but it’s not working. It seems the more cables I unravel, the bigger the knotted ball is becoming. I look around, only to see the green forest that surrounds us. The forest extends down the three sets of train tracks, like the tracks are a hallway through green walls.
That’s when I see the train lights in the distance illuminating the tree lines from around a bend. Next I hear the train horn, and know that my big pile of camper is doomed.
Then I wake up.
Let the pschoanalysis begin!
From the personal blog: I’ve had a whole bunch of things posted to my personal blog in the last week or so, including a preview of the National RV Trade Show, Missouri State Park’s final Wonders of Wildlife class, and a preview WITH VIDEO of the 21st Annual Fall Camper & RV Show in Metro Detroit.
Gr8LakesCamper celebrates the world of RV Camping in the Midwest. Gather around the campfire and share tips, ideas and stories on RVing, camping and travel destinations. Follow Gr8LakesCamper on Twitter, Facebook and the personal blog.
Have high gas prices got you down? Have you been pondering whether to even take an RV trip this summer? Have you considered making your daily commute in an electric golf cart? Fear not, my friends. You can have your RV, and camp in it too.
Of course, the secret is simple. If you want to beat these skyrocketing gas prices, you simply need to…
With the exception of pilot type water heaters and some smaller LP/Electric refrigerators, modern LP appliances in RVs are controlled by electronics, meaning the gas valve is opened, the flame is ignited, and the flame is “proved” (flame safety- making certain the burner is burning). These systems are used for a number of reasons:
- No “standing” pilot flame to waste energy.
- Set and forget operation- for refrigerators, automatic energy selection (LP or 120 volt).
- Operation more like the home appliances
There are 2 methods of “proving” the flame. A purely electronic method, and what I call a “hybrid” method- both are in common use today, and both have specific troubleshooting steps to diagnose any failures.
Well, Speed Weeks at the Daytona International Speedway are finally over, but they left me with not enough time for photographing and drawing diagrams for this weeks Blog entry, so I’ll take this opportunity to editorialize a bit on RV service and repair.
I started repairing my own RV in 1980, after a…. umm…. “less than satisfactory” experience with an RV repair shop. Luckily, now it has become somewhat easier to find a good, qualified repair place, and training opportunities for RV technicians have greatly increased. While (as in any industry) you can still find bad RV repair shops (as well as good RV repair shops), for the past 10+ years, the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association, in partnership with the Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association have offered RV Technician certification.
In my last blog entry, I touched on the theory behind using a pilot and thermocouple as a flame safety device in an LP appliance. This week we’ll look at how it works in the most common RV application- an LP water heater.
The 2 main RV water heater manufacturers are Atwood Mobile Systems and Suburban Manufacturing. I’ll look at an Atwood model (because that’s what I have on the lot to photograph!), but the problems, fixes and maintenance are largely the same for both manufacturers. Read more
My main troubleshooting philosophy has always been that in order to figure out what is wrong with an appliance or system, you need to understand how it works. Over the next few months, I’ll try to cover
LP Appliances in RVs all- with the exception of the stove top burners- have some sort of flame detection and safety circuit, which senses whether a flame is burning, and shuts off the flow of gas if it isn’t. Through the years, there have been 4 major types of systems- all of which are still in use.
The major types are:
- Thermo-electric hybrid
- Pure electronic (a.k.a. DSI)
Today I will concentrate on the thermo-electric type, which , which uses a pilot flame and a thermocouple…. Read more
Growing up, my Dad had his workshop in the basement, another one in a barn, yet we always kept a few essential tools in a kitchen drawer- just for those quick, minor repairs.
If you are a major ‘DIY’ tinkerer, you probably (like me) carry enough tools to build an RV from scratch (at least my Wife thinks so!), but even the person who takes their rig to the service shop for everything needs to carry a basic “kit”. A handful of tools, a few spare parts, and some basic supplies are all that are needed for most minor repairs.
Let’s look at what the essentials are…
Whether you are a full timer or a weekend warrior, routine maintenance is a vital part of keeping your RV experience trouble free, but given the wide range of systems in an RV, how do you keep on top of timely preventive maintenance?
Make a list!
If you are lucky enough to have purchased a new RV, it most likely came with a huge folder chock full of manuals.. manuals for everything from the crank up antenna to the furnace, refrigerator, chassis (if motorized), etc. The trouble is- to keep on schedule, you need to dig through each of these to find the maintenance requirements. The easiest way for me to keep track is to dig out each manual, find the preventative maintenance page and copy it- then put all of those pages together in one section, so you never forget some vital (to trouble free RVing) procedure.
But what if you were lucky enough to buy a “pre-loved” RV, which didn’t come with manuals…
In a recent RV.net forum post, one of our resident generator gurus, Gunny357, brought up a helpful tip I had been wanting to make for a long time.
One of my favorite points to ‘hammer home’ is that an RV is a vehicle, but it is also a home on wheels, whether it’s the smallest pop up or the largest diesel pusher. Think about calling and asking for help or service on an appliance or system in your house. Would you call up and say “I have a 1995 3 bedroom 3 bath tudor style house, and my furnace isn’t working.”?