The Old Soul, the Inspector and me – RV Hot Skin condition

“You’re the one that I want” by Olivia Newton-John

“I got chills they’re multiplying and I’m losing control cause the power you’re suppling it’s ELECTRIFYING.”

First, I must say “I have had enough of this foolishness”. Did you ever say that to one of your kids? One of the things I do every day while drinking my coffee is to check out Facebook groups that I am a member of. One of the groups I check out is a RV interior design group.

Three times this week someone has said something about attaching things to the wall of their RV and each time I have replied and explained about the “RV Hot Skin” condition. You know, when you put a hole in the wall of your RV using a nail or screw and hit a wire or metal and electrify your house. I say, “Don’t put holes in the walls”. ALWAYS use command strips, hangers or other adhesive hangers.

So here I am sitting outside waiting for the day to come alive, drinking my coffee and waiting for the sun to come up. By the way if you don’t know, this is the most amazing time of day. Watching the darkness and then it turns grey and then it will get cold and the sun will start to peek out.

Anyway, I’m scanning through Facebook posts and there it is again! Someone wants to know what to use to hang pictures with. So, I respond and explain the whole Hot Skin issue and I feel like I’m talking to my kids. I’m thinking “I have had enough”. Folks need to understand that a RV Hot Skin condition can Kill You.

So, let’s look at RVing. We are living in a Recreational vehicle and they are built to take you camping, to travel down the road, to give you something besides a tent to enjoy this country of ours. I have not found any magazines about RVing that include ‘RV Beautiful” or “RV Home & Gardens.” But there are several magazines about being on the road, traveling around, being at the beach or in the woods.

I use command strips and hangers to hang things on our motorhome walls. I buy them at Dollar Tree or Family Dollar as they are a little cheaper in price at these stores. And they do the job. My pictures have traveled through the mountains, down I-75 through Atlanta, on the rough roads in Michigan and they all stay right where I hung them.

The Facebook post that got to me today was when someone said, “don’t use command strips, they don’t work”. That’s why you are getting an earful today.

My RV will never be “Magazine Beautiful”. I don’t have all the cute “Camper “materials and Knick knacks. It is made to travel down the road and to see the country.

I have a standard kit and/or process. I use anti slip shelf liner on all my counter tops as they hold things in place and I have foam packing sleeves for the dishes. And I use command strips.

So please join me on my campaign to rid the RV world of “HOT SKIN” conditions before someone ends up being ELECTROFIED.

And thanks for listening to my rant.

As always on to our next adventure,


Do you have a RV Hot Skin condition?

How many RVer’s have heard of a RV Hot Skin condition? When I mention we will perform a “hot skin” test to a buyer that hires us to do a RV inspection, they say, “hot skin”, what is that?

When we do RV inspections, it is a mandatory that we must perform a “Hot Skin” test on all types of RVs we inspect. This is a life safety issue along with a propane leak test, detectors, etc.

This is me doing a Hot Skin test on this RV recently.

What do I mean by a RV “Hot Skin”? It occurs when the frame of the RV is no longer at the same voltage potential as the earth around it. This can be caused by an incorrectly wired electrical pedestal, a previous RV owner improperly re-wired his electrical cord that may have gotten damaged. It could happen by someone attaching an item to an RV using a screw and hit a wire behind the wall. These situations can cause stray 120V current to travel around various metal parts of an RV.

When this happens, someone can be shocked when say, grabbing the handle entering an RV, maybe it is stepping on the entry steps to an RV or maybe standing on wet grass and opening a cargo bay door. People may only receive a little tingle versus a shock, either way, it is an indication that there is 120V of current “free flowing” in the RV and this is very dangerous. How dangerous is it, so dangerous that people and pets have died due to having a “hot skin” condition in their RV.

What should people do if they experience a “hot skin” condition in their RV? Stop using the RV and have it looked at by a qualified RV Technician. An individual can attempt to determine the cause of the stray 120V and even repair it themselves. Bottom line is get it repaired as soon as possible and do not use the RV until it is repaired.

The Old Soul, the inspector and me. “You’re my World” by Tom Jones

“You’re my World” by Tom Jones

“You’re my world, you’re every breathe I take. You’re my world, every move I make. Other eyes see the stars up in the skies. But for me they shine in your eyes.”

I know it’s been awhile since I have written anything but life has a way of grabbing hold and twisting you around. We have had a lot of stress in our “No Stress Zone” here and yet here we are as we should be, the two of us in The Old Soul.

Al and I have been together in one place or another for 18 months now. So, you might be thinking what does this have to do with Rving? Well, when your place is 300 sq.ft. (how big is a jail cell?) and you are together night and day, you can still feel he is your world. You will understand that RVing is not just about the vehicle, it is about being able to adjust and compromise, to hold your tongue and hold on to each other when things get rough. There are times you will cry over a situation and times of laughter too.

Recently we did an inspection on a class A motorhome. The seller had bought this RV about a month ago and he is already selling it. He and his wife took one trip and she hated it. She couldn’t stand the grass and dirt of a campground and tracking that dirt into the motor home. So, they were selling the motorhome. We feel she didn’t give it enough time to make that decision.

I’ve also seen comments on a Facebook page of someone giving up Rving. It was too hard. No one had told them things are going to go wrong while Rving. No one told them that there are challenges to Rving. Al always says, “a bad day Rving is better than a good day at the office”.

We did a walk through with a young couple and went through how everything in the RV works. We did the inspection for them about a month ago and they wanted someone to show them how things work. We also spent time talking about our adventures and the things that have gone wrong. We told them they needed items like a EMS device (surge protector), water pressure regulator, etc. These folks are newbies on the road to adventure. I hope they find success.

Every time we do an inspection, Al will say I hope we don’t find nothing wrong with the RV we are inspecting but of course, we are going to find something wrong. It may be small, it may be a “lack of maintenance” issue like dirty AC filters, it might just be a battery needing to be replaced in a smoke detector. We will find it if it is there. Hopefully the folks buying the RV will be able to enjoy their adventures ahead by knowing what potential issues the RV has revealed to us during the inspection and can get those items squared away before hitting the road.

On to our next adventure


The Old Soul, the Inspector and me – I say a little prayer

I Say a Little Prayer by Dionne Warwick

“The moment I wake up, before I put on my make up, I say a little prayer for you, while combing my hair now, and wondering what dress to wear now. I say a little prayer for you”.

Some days you just must get down on your knees and pray. That’s how this week has been and I need some advice. How do you make life peaceful again when you have so much turmoil going on?

To many emotions all at once. Al has children and so do I. They must be dealt with separately as well as differently. The mother in me would like to spank some of them and put them to bed but they are grown and I’d have trouble getting any of them to “lay across my knee”.

Then we have this Old Soul (Motorhome), she is our child. We have changed her, fed her and listened to her temper tantrums but I love her. She has shown me adventures and places I have loved exploring with her.

But this week …

The Old Soul has really “showed out”. She wants new shoes (brakes) and everything thing that goes with them. Oh yeah, shocks too, she really is a Diva. The shame is that because she insists, we must give in and get them for her. Not a good move if I’m dealing with a spoiled child but since this child moves us from one adventure to the next, we will give in and spend a small fortune on her.

I must admit that we went looking at a replacement for the Old Soul. In the end, I will stick by her, give her the things she needs and baby her. I don’t think she has a clue how close she came to having a new home but I’m not willing to start over.

I think back to the day we found the Old Soul and decided that she was for us. How excited I was too be finally going “Full Time” in an RV and to have something that belonged to the two of us. Something that didn’t have memories, only the memories that we create along the way. This was our new beginning!

We had both been married before we became the two of us. We both lost our spouses and dared not to try again. We both have an idea what makes us happy, a chance to do things different. We both married right out of high school and lived our lives as it came about. There are the “habits” ways of doing things that we don’t always agree on but we keep going and working on them. That was my big deciding factor in purchasing the “Old Soul”. A place to live and explore and be “us” without any memories from past lives.

Now that Al has been through an RV Inspector training class (twice actually – a level two inspector), we travel around the countryside doing RV inspections.

I must admit we could have made a better decision in buying the Old Soul, only if we had known then what we do now. This week we did another inspection for a soon to be “Newbie”. As we go through and talk about the different things in the RV, you can see the “deer in the headlights” look on their faces. That moment when you realize that, along with the adventure of RV traveling, you must know something about this house on wheels and how they operate.

Of course, I had that look at one time, we all did. I remember that look the first-time Al tried to tell me about the “workings” of the motorhome. Suddenly it isn’t just an adventure. It’s not an escape from the past. It has so many working components and now that I know the workings of the Old Soul, I don’t want to trade her in for a newer model RV. I want to carry on with my adventure because this was my new beginning and I know it will cost money to keep the Old Soul going but I’m not ready for another new beginning.

“I say a little prayer for you, forever and ever you’ll stay in my heart and I will love you forever and ever, we never will part. Oh, how I’ll love you……”

On to the next adventure.


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!


Sign up for their newsletter and you will receive an email, containing a coupon for a free nights stay each week at the featured RV park of the week.
Hope you’ll join us on Sunday at noon CST.

The Old Soul, The Inspector and me


“We are Family” by Sister Sledge

“Living life is fun and we’ve just begun to get our share of the world’s delights.

High, high hopes we have for the future and our goal’s insight. We, no we don’t get depressed. Here’s what we call our Golden rule. Have faith in you and the things you do- you won’t go wrong Oh-No- this is our family jewel.”

I was told last week that I will be a Great Grandmother. Now I’m not old enough for this role but if I must, I will. We haven’t had a baby in our family for 11 years so, I suppose it’s time.

As I look around The Old Soul, there is no room for a baby, no crawling spaces and no extra room for a crib. Yet if you read through some of the postings on the Facebook RV groups, it seems a lot of people are now traveling with their children in tow. They have taken to the road to show the children of the future what America is all about. What a great experience that will be for them.

We must talk about the possibilities of taking to the road in our Old Soul.  As we do Inspections on 5th wheels, Class A diesel pushers, travel trailers, etc. some of them are new and some are a few years old.

We do a Safety Inspection on all RVs we inspect. We perform a “gas leak” test of the propane system, we check the Fire Extinguishers for an expiration date, we check the Smoke detectors, the Carbon Dioxide detectors and the Propane detectors (when you check these detectors, it’s not enough to just push the button to see if the battery is still good. You must check to see that they will function as they are intended to).  We check out the Norcold/Dometic refrigerators (there is a recall on these refrigerators from 1997 to 2010) as to whether a recall kit was installed or not. If you own an RV during the years mentioned above, you may want to call Norcold, Inc. product recalls department at 1-800-767-9101 to see if the recall kit was installed on your refrigerator. You can check on-line about the Domectic refrigerators at: We also check the Emergency exit window and all the electrical plugs including checking the GFCI outlet. We also do a “hot skin” test of the exterior of the RV looking to see if there is any stray electrical current running around the exterior of the RV.

These are important Life Safety issues for all of us even if we don’t have any “children of the future “on board.

Last week we did an inspection on a class A gas motorhome that was a couple of years old. When I hit the button on the smoke detector there was no sound. My first thought was the battery was bad but when we took the cover down, we found that the little plastic tab that keeps the battery from engaging had never been removed. So, the detector had never been checked and would not have worked if there was smoke or a fire.  The other strange thing that I found was that the Emergency window was not marked. They should all have an exit sticker or emergency sticker on them.

Now let’s get back to this Great Grandmother thing. I was too young to be a Grandmother and now this name thing has come up as to what should I be called by the little one. I am searching for a new name that does not imply that I am old enough to be a Great Grandmother. If you have a good one, we will be at the Good Sam Jamboree in Perry, Ga. from Wed. thru Sunday morning. Drop by our booth and let me know what you’ve come up with.

As always if you are thinking of putting money, time and energy into an RV it might be a good idea to get an Inspection done.

More from Sister Sledge

“Everyone can see we’re together as we walk on by. And, and we fly just like birds of a feather I won’t tell no lie. All, all of the people around us they say Can they be that close?  Just let me state for the record, We’re giving love in a family dose.”


On to our next adventure             Laura

The RV Show USA

This is a great radio show that airs every Sunday afternoon. They feature a campground/resort every week and if you sign up for their newsletter, you will receive a coupon for a free night’s stay at that week’s featured location at the end of the show.

In this past weekend’s show, they visited Kentucky’s Mega Cavern, took a cruise on board the Vanishing Texas River Cruise, discussed Catherine’s Landing Resort in Arkansas as the feature destination of the week and chatted with PPL Motorhomes about the necessities that all RVers must have. I had the privilege of being a guest speaker in the 2nd hour of the broadcast as well.

To listen to the Podcast, click here: