While many potential issues can arise with a recreational vehicle, many can be quickly righted by the owner. Here are some RV quick fixes that you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to perform. Solve these problems without fuss or much expense before heading out on the road.
RV Door Keypad
The electronic keypad that replaces door keys is a great feature. Higher-end products also allow power locking of the door from inside the vehicle. But as time goes by, you might find it becomes operationally intermittent or it may cease working. While this can be an issue with the keypad itself, the most common problem is oxidized door contacts. These can be found in the door jam. They are spring-loaded metal contacts that complete an electric circuit when they touch. Over time these bullet-like contacts oxidize, causing them to fail. Using a piece of emery paper, sand the ends to remove this film. If that was the issue, you are done in five minutes.
Auto-Gen Starting Too Often
If you find your auto generator start seems to activate any time a heavy load is drawn from the house bank, even though your batteries are in a well-charged state, check this. In the auto-start configuration, check the low voltage start level. It should be set at 11.7 or 11.8 volts. If this is set much higher, the auto-start will activate too often and too early.
Outside AC Plugs Not Working
What do you do when the outside duplex AC plug-in on your trailer or motorhome isn’t working? The exterior plug-ins are wired to a GFI (Ground Fault Interrupter), usually found in the galley area or the bathroom. This failure is generally either a tripped GFI, a popped circuit breaker or a disconnected power source. Check and correct these possible sources of trouble.
Tire Pressure Monitor Not Reading
You use your Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) to check the tire pressures before setting out for the day. But what do you do when many or all displayed readings are blank? TPMS sensors shut down after a short period of being in a parked mode. Driving a very short distance will re-activate them. So, before you are even out of the campground, the tire pressure display will probably be fully populated.
Protecting Your Fresh Water Pump
While rolling and bumping down the road in your motor home, a fitting or hose connection in the freshwater system may come loose. If the water pump is on, the water can flow and empty the tank entirely. Now, the loss of the water that you were carrying may not be your biggest problem. However, a burned-out water pump assembly is a near certainty if it has run dry for a period of time. Additionally, water damage to the interior compartments or structural components can occur.
To avoid this happening, simply turning off the water pump while traveling will do the trick. You may have noticed that many motorhomes have remote water pump switches in the galley area and perhaps in the washroom. Use these to activate the pump only when needed.
Windshield Wiper Arm Failure
Windshield wiper issues have been experienced by many RV owners, probably due to the large blade and swept area in many RVs. One moment they are operating fine, the next, one wiper arm has swung far to the side and is flopping aimlessly off the windscreen. In this case, the wiper spline drive has probably stripped. Hopefully your spare parts storage has a new spline insert. These are usually a spline bushing made of a softer alloy, such as aluminum, that sits between the wiper drive shaft and the arm. This procedure of repairing the wipers is relatively easy and pretty straight forward, so don’t panic. Removing the arm, replacing the stripped spline bushing, re-installing the arm in the normal stopped position, and torquing it down will have you quickly back on the road.
If, however, you do not have any spares you have only one choice. Slack the arm nut and re-position the arm to the normally stopped position. Now tighten the arm nut with an increased torque to force the damaged spline bushing to bind with the wiper arm. This is only a temporary fix. You must get a new replacement bushing as soon as possible. It will fail again, soon! When you do get it fixed, buy a couple of extra spline bushings for spares. This problem has happened more than once to some folks.
Well, these are just a few things that you can do to quickly get your RV back on the road again.
Peter Mercer – With Some Quick Fixes