Today Is Sealing Day
September 17, 2021
Owning a recreational vehicle is not always fun and games and travel and camping. And the purchase price and fuel costs and registration and insurance are not the only operating expenses one incurs. Besides the regular maintenance of oil changes, lube jobs, filters, and tires (which, by the way, should be replaced every 6 or 7 years whether they have good tread on them or not - more about that later) common to all internal combustion-powered motor vehicles, there are a myriad of other items that one rarely thinks about which require regular maintenance to keep them in tip-top condition.
And these are not inexpensive. You can do it yourself and save a few bucks, but my body won't participate in some of these that require kneeling, bending, lifting, stooping, crawling, climbing work. Knees and lungs, my friend, knees and lungs. And throw out a back for good measure. Yeah, I'm out of shape and have other issues.
Today is the day we are getting the roof sealed on our 23' Phoenix Cruiser Class B+ motor home. It's needed to be done for the past two years but we couldn't afford the fare, which isn't cheap if its done right, and I'd prefer to have someone do it who knows what they are doing, what materials to use, etc.
Today, Charlie from iCareRV Mobile Repair Service is dropping by our house to take care of the issue for us. He's an RVSA certified RV Technician who works out of his van, and is bringing out a case of the appropriate joint sealer for our roof. He'll get up there, scrape and remove the old sealer and replace it with new. It will take a couple of hours, but his hourly rate is less than the other shops I checked in town and his estimate is competitive. It will take our travel budget for the rest of the year, but it's necessary.
So that will take care of our roof for a couple more years. That will leave such items as generator servicing, the replacement of an insulation pad on our greywater tank, installation of mud flaps behind our rear wheels to protect the new insulation pad (which had gotten shredded off a couple of winters ago when I had to drive through snow one night - the tires threw the slush up onto the tank, which then stuck to the insulation pad until it couldn't take anymore and ripped away from the tank), and installation of a new shower door to replace the one in our RV that is splitting and cracking and looks like Jack Nicholson has been here.
But first I have to find one. They don't make them like this anymore. And I still need to purchase the flood maps (mud flaps) and insulation pad from the manufacturer.
As for the generator, there are two plugs on the spark arrestor on the underside of the engine that are, according to the user manual, supposed to be removed after every 50 hours of runtime. Then the generator is supposed to be run for half an hour with a light load to blow out the carbon that has accumulated there. Our generator has about 370 hours and to my knowledge has never had that cleanout performed (one of the drawbacks to buying a used RV). However, I am unable to get the plugs loose. They are, for lack of a better term, frozen in place and I'm afraid to reef on 'em lest they strip, snap off, or otherwise be damaged. I've even tried penetrating oil. This, then, is another job for a professional. I'll see if Charlie does this kind of thing.
The other things I can do, and have done, myself. Oil changes, battery maintenance, lubrication of steps and slider hardware, cleaning or replacement of air conditioner filters, yada yada yada. Oh, and about the tires - each tire made after the year 2000 has a DOT code on the sidewall. The last four characters indicate the month and year of manufacture.... two digits for the week and two digits for the year. (Prior to 2000 it was a three character code with the last character indicating the year.) The date code is only required on one sidewall, so if you don't see it on yours it's probably on the inside sidewall. The problem with RV tires is they often get old and weathered long before they get worn out, and the last thing you want to have is a blowout while you're tooling along down the highway. They are actually only considered "100% safe" if they are not more than 6 years old.
Nobody said RV ownership is cheap and easy. Easily overlooked and forgotten perhaps, but that sure doesn't help keep the fiscal investment part low!
PS.... Charlie did a great job of sealing the roof for a reasonable price. I highly recommend him based on my experience with him. You can contact him through his website at icarervrepair.com. Tell him Craig sent you!