The Old Soul, The Inspector and me.

The Old Soul, The Inspector and Me

“I’m not telling you it’s going to be easy. I’m telling you it’s going to be worth it.”

I don’t know who wrote this. Nor do I know what they were referring to but it touched my heart. It explains the life we have chosen.

There are Pros and Cons to this fulltime RV life. We are confined to about 400 square feet of living. Which means it takes no more than 30 min. to completely clean our home. It also means you have no where to escape.

Try having a good ole’ disagreement when you have no way to storm out of the room (how do you make your point when you have no doors to slam?) but when it’s raining like it is today, it is a cozy little space.

When we are ready to travel, we store everything, tie it down, block it in and make sure nothing moves as The Old Soul rattles down the road. We don’t have to pack our suitcases, make reservations or decide where we want to stay. We get our fuel and hit the road. We might stay at a campground or in the parking lot at Cracker Barrel. We have all our clothes, food and favorite TV shows with us always. I can’t turn up the music and drown out whatever is bothering me but I do get to see some of the best scenery just sitting in my living room.

The only time I really feel stressed is when The Old Soul decides she is going to “Show Out”. When she wants a new belt or she just wants to stop in the middle of the road and rest. When she has a bit of menopause and the gauges show “Hot” but then she always finishes the Adventure. We appreciate the effort she puts out. If you read Al’s blog then you know we buy her things, like lights and a refrigerator. We also try to give her what she needs.

A few days ago, a woman posted pics. of a RV she was thinking of buying on Facebook. She said she had a gut feeling things were wrong but it was something they could pay cash for. The pics all showed mold, dampness and warped wood. It’s easy to see why she might have a gut feeling that she shouldn’t purchase this RV. If she can see some of the damage, what would a RV inspector find when looking at the roof or testing the different systems? I hope she decided to look at other RV options and when she decides to purchase an RV, I hope she hires a RV Inspector to go through it and make sure it is worth the adventure…

On to our next adventure,

Laura

Buy a new RV or a used RV. A dilemma we all face.

We all like the newness of buying a new RV, a new House or buying a new Car. If you have bought any of these items new, hopefully, everything was in working order after the purchase.

When it comes to RVs, the industry has a stigma of not producing a product that comes from the factory with everything in working order. Isn’t what you expect, everything in working order, right? You paid maybe 100s of thousands of dollars for an RV, only to find things were not all in working order.

We were looking at RVs last spring. Boy the new ones looked good, smelled good but it was hard to justifying paying the money they wanted. We decided on buying, at the time, a 14-yr. old Holiday Rambler Endeavor as we could pay cash for it and not have payments. The same model, with similar features, runs approx. $245K for a 2016 model. With 10% down, financed for 10 yrs. @ 3.5% interest, the payments would be approx. $2100.00/mo. Wow, that is more than a mortgage payment on the average house.

So here we are 9 months later. No payments on the “Old Soul” as Laura calls her and here are the repairs or replacements I have done.

Headlight switch replacement

Toilet Valve replacement

Refrigerator Replacement

Transfer Switch replacement

Furnace Motor Replacement

Alternator Belt (we broke down on this one and an RV tech replaced it)

Door Latch Replacement

Entry Door Seals Replacement

Fantastic Fan Switch Replacement

All Detectors replaced (Carbon Dioxide, Smoke detectors, etc.) they were past their expiration date.

We elected to replace:

Bathroom door with an accordion Door

Curtains/blinds

We touched up paint on the exterior and I sealed some small cracks on the roof and the shower skylight.

Total cost of all parts, around $2400.00 not including my labor. That is a little over one monthly payment if we would have bought new vs an RV that was 14 yrs. old.

I just wish I had been an RV Inspector back when we bought the Endeavor. Some of these items would have been discovered during an inspection and we could have negotiated with the dealer to get them fixed. Moral of the story is, get an RV inspection no matter the age of the RV you are considering on purchasing. It could save a lot of aggravation in the future.

Happy Trails. AL

The Old Soul, The Inspector and me.

I love being in the mountains, wandering down those old country roads. Seeing the small towns and the folks that live in them. I love the dark night that lives in the country with all the stars shining down on us and that moon just really amazes me.

I love our place in the mountains of Blairsville, GA. Just “The Old soul, the inspector and me.

There is only one downside to being out in the world just the two of us. That is, we just have only ourselves to rely on. One day we were traveling from Blairsville, Ga. To Murphy, NC. when an ambulance came blaring past us. Lights and siren going.

It made me wonder how would we help ourselves in a medical emergency. I worked in a hospital setting, so I know that if something happened to Al, I could do something until help got there. But could he do the same for me?

So, think about this? Do you know how to do CPR? Do you know what a stroke looks like? Can you do something until help gets there? What if you’re boondocking in the middle of nowhere? What if it takes a while for help to get there? So, do yourself a favor.

“Bad Case of Loving’ you” by Robert Palmer. “Doctor, Doctor give me the news. I’ve got a bad case of loving’ you. No pills gonna cure my ill, I’ve got a bad case of loving’ you…”

If you answered “NO” to my questions, then get signed up for a class. Call the local hospital or The American Heart Association. Get into a class. Take one day out of your week. The American Heart Association has an online class. Check out “Online AHA.org | American Heart Association.”

Just as you should make sure your investment in your traveling home is solid. By having it checked out, getting an Inspection done by a Qualified RV Inspector. Having peace of mind that your RV will serve you through the journey. You need to make sure that you can take care of each other and enjoy the ride down those old country roads.

 

On to our next adventure,    Laura

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Do you shop at Amazon?

Do you shop at Amazon?

If you shop on Amazon.com, would you please visit there through this link? We’ll get a small commission on your purchase (s). You will pay the exact same price as clicking on Amazon directly. Please consider bookmarking this Amazon page for your futuamazonre Amazon.com purchases.

This link will take you to the RV Parts and Accessories section of Amazon but you can order anything on the Amazon website, not just RV parts. Click on the “SUPPORT US AT AMAZON” button above. Thanks!

PS – We cannot see what you buy or who is buying what. We only see the number of dollars spent on all purchases by all people.

The Old Soul, The Inspector and Me.

   “The road is long with many a winding turn, that leads us to who knows where.” This is a phrase from the song “He ain’t heavy, He’s my brother” by the Hollies.

       Yesterday I was reading a posting on a RV Facebook site. Someone was complaining about the looks of a neighboring RV and how it makes the rest of us look bad. They even included a video of this RV, with bad tires and had a  fluid leak on the ground.

       Maybe the owners need some help, maybe they can’t afford the $5000.00 it would take to put new tires on but does it really make “the rest of us look bad?”

Are we, as a community of Recreational Vehicle owners, so shallow that we will judge our RV neighbors? People on a journey that you may see for a few hours or a day.

         There are so many reasons to be out in a RV traveling around or just sitting in a RV park, resting. Every one of us has our “Plan”, the why and where, for our journey.

         “But, I’m strong, Strong enough to carry him, He ain’t heavy, he’s my brother, so on we go, his welfare is of my concern.”

         On our way back from Florida we stayed at “Traveler’s Campground” in Alachua, Fla. Behind us was a nice rig. Plenty of room for just a husband and wife. They were farmers from Florida. He was a University of Florida Alumni and they were just getting away for the weekend. Behind them and over one aisle was a Chevy passenger van with a small travel trailer that had a pop out, very small as you can see from the picture. When they pulled into their campsite, children started jumping out of every door. We finally counted 9 children in all ranging in age from about 14 yrs. old to a small baby and two adults. We learned they were farmers from upstate New York and were in Florida to look at the difference in farming methods between NY an179-2d FL.

         Both farmers, clearly with a different journey in mind. I hope they both get what they needed out of this journey.

         I hope that as we go through this RV journey and wave at each other or visit for a few minutes at the campground, we will always remember that “We are in this together”. The RV journey lies ahead and we are compelled to care about our fellow travelers. We are a select group of people, with problems that only our fellow Rver’s understand. We can’t just call a plumber or electrician out to help us. Our RV systems are different and they are more complex. Each RV has multiple systems.

             As you plan your next RV get away, the vehicle you choose and the amount you pay, is your plan for the future. If you decide to spend all the money you’ve saved for retirement, maybe it is that inheritance you were going to leave to your kids or maybe you’re living month to month on your Social Security, we all have one thing in mind, to get through this journey.

             So, if you want to make sure that you have a safe RV journey, one way to do that is to have your RV inspected by a professional. Someone that understands the different systems in that Dream Machine you are planning to put all your money into. Maybe you are ready to upgrade to a new RV and you need to sell your existing RV. If you have an inspection performed, you can advertise it as a “Certified Inspected RV”. Makes sense doesn’t it……

               On to our next adventure……..     Laura

The Old Soul, The Inspector and Me.

This has been a great week for me. I joined one of those groups on Facebook called “Full -Time RV’ers”.    If you’re thinking of going full time in an RV, check into this group. There is lots of good advice in this Facebook group. Someone posted a question about towing your vehicle by either using a Tow Dolly or by towing four wheels down? And of course, several people jumped on this debate. So, let me tell you where I stand on this.

  The story of Jack the tow dolly………

tow-dolly

Al and I spent hours deciding “do we get a vehicle that will tow four wheels down or keep the Toyota Highlander (which is paid for) and get a tow dolly? You cannot tow all types of vehicles, four wheels down (four tires on the ground). There are certain makes and years that can be towed 4-wheels down. You can find the list of towable vehicles on the internet at http://www.motorhome.com/download-dinghy-guides/. As we were being Conservatively Cheap we went with the dolly option. I mean, how hard can this be?

So here it is. It’s got a nice pretty blue color, almost a Michigan Blue color. Doesn’t look like it would cause any pain, right?

So, we decide to hook up the Highlander the night before we leave on our adventure. It’s dark and the weather is not great. The first thing you must do is get the vehicle centered to drive up the ramp. Easy, right?

WRONG!!!!

Do you remember the song ‘Do It Again” by Steely Dan?

“You go back, Jack Do it again.

Wheels turning Round and Round.

You go back, Jack Do It again.

So, Al is driving and I’m standing there trying to give him directions. OK I know, Yes, I was trying to give a man directions (My first mistake) but eventually after several attempts, while he’s mumbling something under his breath and I’m almost in tears, we get it in place. O.K. now you must apply the straps to keep on the tow dolly while traveling down the road. This will also take some time to get straps straight and then ratchet them tight… P.S. since we smoke, but not in the Motorhome, we make many stops along the way. During these stops, it is a great time to check the straps, making sure they are tight. I mean no one wants the Highlander coming loose and running away.

I’m happy to report that after doing this several times we now have a routine. Before attempting to get the Highlander on the dolly, I pray “Please, let us get this in 2 attempts”

Then I say a little mantra, “I’m smarter than this dolly”, I can give Al perfect directions. We only need to try this twice, right? Stay calm.

And then we share a small kiss before heading into the ‘Danger Zone” The place where we will completely lose our temper or will to be nice, because we know in our hearts this is going to begin badly. We always make it happen because we have the willpower to carry through and cannot hit the road until the Highlander is on the tow dolly.

Al always says “The worst day Rving is better than the best day at work”

I say “Once we get that vehicle on the dolly and don’t have to “Do It Again “it is the best moment in Rving”

Now I must tell you the great news for the Old Soul. She got a new transfer switch this week. Her batteries are purring and she’s doing great. I’m sure if we would have had an inspection done when we bought her, our Old soul would have told us we might be in for trouble. The inspector would have checked the batteries and the Generator. We could have made a more informed decision about the RV we were about to purchase….

Still loving the Old Soul…… and I guess I must say something nice about Jack, like ‘Good Job” or “You’re always bringing up the rear”. On to our next Adventure…. Laura

Transfer Switch is not working

We were dry camping at the Florida RV Super Show in Tampa, FL a few weeks ago and noticed our coach batteries we starting to decline in voltage (meaning batteries were starting to drain). Hey, not a big deal, we have a generator to charge our house batteries. We came back to the motorhome for lunch and before we went back to the show, I started up the generator to let it run a while. When we came back approx. 4 hrs. later, the batteries were lower now after the Generator was running for those four hours. Not good as we have an electrical problem.

Out comes the OHM Meter from the tool box. I tested the house batteries and they were way down and it appears the Generator wasn’t providing a charge to our house batteries because when we were hooked up to shore power the day before at a campground, all was good. I looked at the Transfer Switch and didn’t notice any loose or burned wires. A Transfer switch detects if power to the Motorhome is coming from shore power (Pedestal) or the Generator. It detects which source is sending power and allows it to flow into the Motorhome. So, let’s think about this. When plugged into shore power, the batteries are charging but when the Generator is providing power to the Motorhome batteries, they are not charging.

Since we were not going to be dry camping until we got home days later, I decided to wait until we got home to order the Transfer switch. On a side note, after we spent the next night at a campground, the batteries were being charged. This did confirm it was the Transfer Switch. Come to find out, there had been a recall on our specific model of Transfer switch.

Well, all is good. I found that exact replacement transfer switch, got it installed, tested the transfer switch using first shore power then the generator power. Bingo. It worked on both sources. img_1562

Life in an RV is always an adventure and until you are out here it is hard to understand that. A saying I like is “a bad day on the road in an RV is better than a good day at the office”. Happy Trails.

AL