Trials & Tribulations
In case you thought that travelling for extended periods of time is always wonderful, here's a collection of the issues we have encountered during our journeys.
June 25th- I was having trouble filling the water tank thru the vent line. The water kept flowing back like it was full. Investigation revealed that the vent line was too long causing a significant kink, limiting the flow of water.
June 20th- The tankless water heater wasn't getting the water hot. The burner was coming on and I tried reducing the flow but the water wouldn't get over 85 degrees. I changed to the other propane tank and it now was heating properly! It appears that the safety valve in the tank was engaged limiting the flow of propane.
May 22nd- As I was pulling in the rear slide, I noticed that the left side of the slide was hanging loose!! when is a big problem since the bottom is unsupported when going down the road (it's supported from the roof when pulled closed). I used our leveling blocks to support the "floor" of the slide and hoped it would be adequate to make it to our next stop. We were going to be at our next stop for a few days and it would give me more time to deal with the issue.
I stopped at a Lowes to pick up supplies while we were on our way to the next stop. Unfortunately, the screws I got weren't log enough for the job. I ended up going into town the next day to pick up longer screws at the lumber yard. I also replaced the screws on the right side with the longer screws.
When we ventured into Wichita Falls TX, I went to Harbor Freight and picked up a ratchetting cargo bar that I modified to use as a support when travelling.
We encountered terrible roads in Mississippi and Louisiana that likely caused the issue.
August 10th- I noticed a propane smell by the propane tanks. No completely unusual since you can often get a slight smell from the pressure regulator, but I decided to take a closer look. I found that the hose connecting the tank to the regulator has a crack in it and the hose had gone completely still. Even though the hose for the other tank looked good, and wasn't still, I replaced both hoses ($25 each).
I also found that 1 of the tanks wasn't sealing with the hose. Close inspection found an issue with the rubber gasket in the tank that seals the connection. I will have to replace the tank.
July 17th- The awning was out, and tied down, with a relatively light breeze. I was out running errands and Patricia was "home". Out of nowhere the wind cranked up, pulled the tie-down stakes right out of the ground and flipped the awning up over the top of the camper. The end result was the front-arm was severely bent. I arrived back at camp and saw the awning laying down in front of the camper, #$R@#$@.
We were scheduled to move the next day and I wasn't sure how we were going to get out of this mess. Initially I thought I would need to cut the awning fabric so I could just remove the damaged awning arms. After looking at the damage more closely, it was clear only 1 arm section was bend. I removed the damage arm and used the rail on the trailer and an axe to straighten the bent arm. I was able to straighten to the point that I could replace the pin attaching to the other arm and so it would close. It actually is still very usable, and you have to carefully look at the arm to even see that it was damaged. I'm not sure I will even replace the damaged arm when we get home.
June 7th- I was unable to find any options to upgrade the axles in the required timeline but I did find a place to straighten/align the axles. Rapid Alignment in Rapid City took on the job. They found a number of issues that needed to be addressed. The equalizer was shot, both where replaced. The u-bolts were loose, allowing the leave springs to separate. And the axles were bent. All was taken care of for a total of $875. Hopefully the axles won't just bend again!
June 2nd- I know noticed that the rear driver side tire is now also wearing uneven. I found a truck repair shop in Chamberlain SD that does tires and I got it replaced for another $185. It's becoming clear I have axle issues that will need to be addressed :(
May 24th- I noticed the skirting supports had come loose in 2 places on the entrance side and 1 place on the back side. Not a big deal. Drilled new holes in the skirting for the support arms and fastened with a few rivets.
May 21st- I have been watching the front driver side trailer tire for some un-even wear and it's getting to the point of concerning. I found a replacement tire at Grahm Goodyear in Sioux Falls, should be a quick replacement ($187).
Battery was dead on the scooter when I went to unload it. I figured it just needed a charge so I went a got a charger. Still no good. My multimeter died so I tracked one down to confirm the battery issue before I replaced it. Found a battery at Batteries Plus and got the bike running again ($78).
June- 25 miles south of Kanas City I notice smoke coming out of the wheel well on the trailer. The TMPS isn't indicating a problem but I pulled over to the shoulder on the interstate. The axle has broken next to the hanger. This was the same axle that was replaced last fall. We call roadside assistance since we have coverage thru Escapees. They come with too small of a trailer to load our trailer so we pull the wheel off the bad axle and drive 40mph into Belton to TransWest. Inspection of the axle suggests that the axle rusted out from the inside. The axle likely sat outside for a prolonged period of time with the wire holes up allowing the axle to fill with water.
Initially looked like a replacement axle was going to be 4 weeks but they eventually found one and we were back on the road after 2 weeks. We also had to replace the tire since it was rubbing against the frame and chewed up the sidewall.
Fortunately they had electrical hookup on site so we could stay with the trailer while we were waiting for the repair to be completed ($1800).
June- After we arrived at TransWest the air conditioner kept tripping the breaker. The breaker won't stay on even if the air wasn't on. Replacing the breaker solved the problem. ($8)
July- Water heater quit working on electric again. Troubleshooting found the wire from the breaker had worked its way loose giving a poor connection. Reset the wire and the problem was solved ($0).
July- Had a trailer tire blow-out. TPMS indicated pressures were good up until the failure. Fortunately we were close to a field access driveway and were able to back off the road to put on the spare tire. Found a new tire the next morning ($120). This blowout did caused some damage to the skirting/fender of the trailer. Spend more time securing the skirting than installing the spare tire. Once we got to our destination I had to do some repair work on the skirting.
July- Replaced both USB multi-plug charge ports that we had at the head of the bed.
August- We arrive at our site and the power jack and slide wasn't working unless hooked to the truck. Quick diagnostic revealed that the rest of the coach had 12V supply and all fuses in the main panel were good. Quicly isolated the problem to the 50A breaker that is mounted outside on the tongue. The connections were getting rusty from being exposed to the elements. A little wiggle restored power, for now, I will be replacing the breaker.
June- I noticed un-even tire wear on one of the trailer tires and closer inspection also showed evidence that the trailer suspension was bottoming out and tires were coming in contact with the bottom of the trailer. Took it in to a shop in St Cloud MN and said the leaf springs were WAY under capacity for the designed weight of the trailer and the axles were actually bent caused by the suspension bottoming out. They straightened the axles and installed leaf springs designed for the weight of the trailer. I replaced the tire with the uneven wear. ($400)
June- Trailer tire blow-out just outside of Murdo SD. Limped into town and put on the spare. TPMS indicated pressures were good and there was no indication of a problem. Installed a new tire in Wall SD. ($120)
July- Trailer tire blow-out on our way to Helena MT. Same as before, TPMS indicated pressures were good and no indication of a problem. Had a new tire installed in Helena MT ($160).
Sept- 500 miles from home in Alabama I had a wheel bearing failure on the trailer. I noticed pressure and temperature getting high on one of the tires. Pulled over at a rest area and found a serious issue with one of the wheel hubs. Contacted a local roadside service. They arrived at the rest area but the bearing failure had damage the spindle so it couldn't be repaired on the roadside. We pulled the wheel and limped into the shop that was only 3 miles away. A replacement axle was going to be at least a week out so we purchased a couple of coolers and packed up what we could and headed home without the trailer.
I picked up the trailer a week later. I drove up in the evening, stayed in the trailer, settled up in the morning and head back home ($1100).
April- 1st week of travel the refrigerator wouldn't shut off and was freezing food. I narrowed the issue down to either the control board or the thermistor so I tracked both down and installed both. Problem solved. ($150) Issue should have been covered under warranty but the shops were booked 3 weeks out.
April- Furnace quit working. It would light and then immediately go off. I ordered a control board but also found out they had a recall on this unit because they didn't install a heat resistant shield on the wire going to the over temp sensor. That turned out to be the problem. The wire came in contact with the exhaust flume, melted, and shorted out so the control board thought the unit was over-heading. Should have also been covered under warranty but the shops were 5 weeks out.
May- water pump bypass valve was leaking allowing water to leak back into the fresh water tank when hooked up to city water. Purchased a pump but didn't install since many have indicated this is a common problem and will likely occur on any pump you install. I ended up using the winterizing valve to isolate the water tank when hooked up to city water. Should have been covered under warranty but again, 4 weeks out. ($80)
July- Water heater quit working on electric but would still work on gas. Troubleshooting identified the problem with a bad connection on the over-temp sensor. Cleaned the connection and problem was resolved ($0).
Sept- 2 weeks left in our trip we were outside Memphis TN with temps in the 90's and the air conditioner quit working. I spent a lot of time troubleshooting and discovered a coolant leak due to an assembly issue with the copper tubing going into the pump. We suffered out the heat in Memphis and also in Golf Shores AL and headed for home a couple days early. Had it repaired under warranty but took 8 weeks to get repaired.