The Old Soul – Our cruise and black RV tanks

The Old Soul , The Inspector and Me

Come Sail Away by Styx

“I’m sailing away set an open course for the virgin sea. I’ve got to be free, free to face the life that’s ahead of me. On board, I’m the captain so climb aboard, we’ll search for tomorrow on every shore And I’ll try Oh, Lord I’ll try to carry on”.

We went on a cruise recently, my first time. Like so many adventures we have been on, it was amazing. My grown children and grandchildren were with us on the cruise. Now that they have their own lives, I like to hang out with them as they are much more interesting now that they are older.

Now let me set this scene for you. I’m sitting on this ship, sun on my face, drink in my hand somewhere between Coco Cay and Nassau in the Bahamas, surrounded by my family.

I hear this conversation behind me. They are talking about house toilets, RV toilets, shipboard toilets and how they work? Al and my son are talking about toilets. Al is explaining black tanks to my son. I kid you not!

Suddenly I’m thinking about black tanks on a cruise ship. How big they must be to carry all that waste and who has the job of treating them and emptying them. “What’s your job?” “I do waste management on a cruise ship”.

So, let’s talk about toilets for a minute. You got to love the idea of traveling down the freeway with all your waste products slushing around under your feet. Black water and Grey water, the things we do to be on the road. Do you count how many sheets of TP you use or count to 5 when you flush the toilet? The most important equipment on your RV is the black tank management. You must make sure that you have a small waste management system on board. As you move down the road do you have chemicals crashing around, inside your black tank, keeping everything wet and moving to help it break down?

As I’m sitting here writing, Al just came in and asked me to stop a minute to help him. Guess what he’s doing? Yeah, he’s dragging a hose through the window to attach the wand to so he can flush out the black tank on the “Old Soul” since our tank flush doesn’t work.

So, let’s get back to the sun on my face, drink in my hand, and the conversation I’m listening to. My son is not a RV person. I know he thinks traveling down the road is a great idea, which it is but like others who want the adventure, he doesn’t understand the work behind it.

We did an inspection on Monday for a person that we are friendly with. He and his wife are selling everything, bought an RV and within the month will be fulltime RVers. He has only driven an RV once, the one he just bought and drove home. They haven’t experienced the “Black Tank” (which the seller conveniently left full for him). As we’re doing the inspection we are giving him information about the RV systems he has and you can see his facial expressions going from “Happy Camper” to “what did I do?” He is on overload. The “Newbie” has passed into the twilight zone. So how do we explain everything he needs to know? How do you say, “things will happen, expect it?” “You will learn as you go”. Where is the manual for the newbie, “RVing for dummies?” We see every day people turn to Facebook groups and ask the “dumb” questions and what do some Facebook members do, as “experts in their mind”? Someone will put some sarcastic remark out there or say this has been asked before”. Remember, we were all newbies at one time.

Someone said, “RV people are a different breed”. They are always helpful because we must depend on each other out there.

So, remember as we captain our houses on wheels and dream of “Sailing Away”, the children (newbies) of RVing need us to help explain to them the “Black tanks “. They need to know that “water is good” whether it’s in a black tank or the Bahamas.

On to our next adventure


The Old Soul, The Inspector and me – On a sentimental journey

Sentimental Journey – Doris Day

“Gonna take a sentimental journey and gonna set my heart at ease.”

“Gonna make a sentimental journey to renew old memories.”

The month of April brings several people to mind. First, I was born in April and my father was too. My oldest sister died in April and my husband did too. So, April has been one of those times when my mind wanders back to the past.

My sister loved to be in the garden and I do too. The dirt feels so cool and then warm, it is a mix that soothes my anxious soul.

My father saved anything and everything. From nuts, to bolts and old nails. When I think of him, I can still hear the pinging noise of old nails being thrown into an old coffee can. My favorite memory of my father is on the farm and him telling me to stand in the open fence area and “Don’t Move” while he herded the cattle to the other field. He’d say the cows will turn just don’t move and let them through the opening. So here I stand while several tons of running beef come toward me and I stayed (because I was told too) and they would turn and run into the other field.

One more memory then we will move on. It was 1968, the summer of love. The hippie movement was strong in Oregon and I was in the mix of it. I spent the morning taking down my princess bed with the canopy and ruffles and put my mattress on the floor. When my father came home from work he sat beside on my mattress and it looked like he would cry at any time. He said I had to sleep on a mattress on the floor when I was a kid because that’s all we had. He said he worked hard to make sure I had more than that now. That’s when I realized he was more than my father. He was everything to me, so of course, back went the bed, the canopy and all the ruffles.

I love that old man. He knew everything.  He could fix anything and he could shame me into doing the best I could.

So here I am years later and I have a chance at this great adventure with a man who I have come to believe has a lot of the same characteristics as my father. We have some of the best times out on the road and I know that he will take care of The Old Soul and Me.

I have nothing this week that leads me to talking about RV inspections and how important they are. There is no connection between my memories and the fact that if you decide to buy an RV you should have it inspected.

There is only this little tidbit of advice and I know my father would agree.  Don’t put a mattress on the floor when you’ve worked so hard to have a princess bed.  Don’t spend your hard-earned money on a RV that isn’t the best you can afford and have it inspected! I have no advice or stories about RVs this week. I’m just being melancholy and thinking about the past.

I think you know that every time I write this blog, I’m going to recommend an RV Inspection but this week I’m just going on a sentimental Journey and maybe you should go with me.

“More Sentimental Journey –  I never thought my heart could be so yearned. Why did I decide to roam? Gotta take a sentimental journey, a sentimental journey home.”

On to our next adventure,


RV Recalls


The Norcold, Inc. refrigerators listed below have been recalled.

It is important to implement this safety enhancement to prevent an unsafe elevation in the temperature of the cooling unit should the unit fail in operation. This enhancement seeks to minimize the risk of injury or death due to fire.

Norcold Inc. has decided to recall certain 1200, 1201, 1210 and 1211 model gas/electric refrigerators with serial numbers from 315525 to 13088811, non consecutively. The refrigerator’s model and serial number are located inside the fresh food compartment. These refrigerators may have cooling units with a cooling unit serial number between 700000 to 13085759. This is a new recall campaign to include all 1200, 1201, 1210 and 1211 models.

Even if your refrigerator was repaired as part of a previous recall, it is necessary to have it repaired again to minimize the risk of injury or death due to fire.


Newmar recall: Problem could cause steering loss.

Newmar Corporation is recalling 600 model year 2017-2018 Dutch Star, 2016-2018 Mountain Aire and London Aire, and 2012-2018 Essex and King Aire motorhomes built on a Spartan Motors chassis. The ball joints on the independent front suspension (IFS) modules can loosen and separate, leading to a partial loss of steering.

Newmar will notify owners, and Spartan service centers will remove, clean, apply thread locker, reinstall and torque the ball joints as necessary, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin May 21, 2017. Owners may contact Spartan at 1-800-543-4277 to locate a qualified service center or contact Newmar customer service at 1-574-773-7791. Newmar’s number for this recall is 17004.

Big Tiffin motorhome recall: tow hitch may detach

Tiffin Motorhomes is recalling nearly 5,000 model year 2011-2016 Allegro Open Road motorhomes. The tow hitch on the vehicles may detach from the coach under heavy loading or hard braking conditions. Under such conditions the hitch and attached tow vehicle could become disconnected from the coach causing a potential crash or causing another vehicle to come in contact with detachment and crash.

The holes in the frame rail extension were sized incorrectly for the bolt size used in production, some units were built without reinforcing washer and some rail extensions didn’t have gussets to support the hitch mounting flange. The factors contributing to the issue were eventually corrected in production due to normal design and manufacturing revisions. Tiffin saw that smaller holes could be used and did.

Tiffin will notify owners, and dealers will install frame rail extension liner brackets, free of charge. The manufacturer has not yet provided a notification schedule. Owners may contact Tiffin Motorhomes customer service at 1-256-356-8661.

The RV Show USA – Sunday April 9th at noon c.s.t.

Once again, I have been asked to be a guest on the RV Show USA radio show tomorrow. I will be on the air at noon CST talking about the issues of buying used RVs and why RV inspections are important.

The RV Show USA is a weekly, nationally syndicated 2 hour radio program about the RV Lifestyle distributed on SRN Radio’s XDS Satellite Platform.

Posted by The RV Show USA on Thursday, April 6, 2017

Each week the show features an RV park. This week features the wonderful Hagerstown KOA on this weekend’s show. We’ll try another Facebook Live of the broadcast this Sunday from noon-2pm CT. Watch for the Notification. Still trying to get all the bugs worked out on the FB Live deal!


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Hope you’ll join us on Sunday at noon CST.