There are many tasks leading up to being away from your home for many months. Filling the RV is an obvious trip-prep task- how many socks, underwear, books (a very unique category), stuffed animals, and many, many other items to consider. Less obvious is prepping the RV and the car we’ll tow behind the RV (the “tow vehicle” or more commonly, our “toad”).
Being 10+ years old, Tiny (our RV) is less reliable than it was the last time we took it full-timing (2002-03). Many fixes later we are close to having Tiny ready, we hope:
- New tires (not a cheap item – where to buy/install?)
- 4-bike carrier (way more complicated than you’d think – attach to RV? Car?)
- Rain leak (mysteriously wet near driver and passenger sides – how to fix?)
- Steps retracting erratically (potentially dangerous – electrical glitch? broken sensor? wire loose?)
- Sink leak (just annoying – putty? crack?)
* Answers below
And the list goes on and on… Now I know why it’s mostly retires driving around RVs. They are the only ones with the time to adequately maintain them. 🙂
- Got the tires from Simple Tire online. They were by far the cheapest, but there was a lot of stress over trusting an online source with difficult recourse if there were any problems. End result was OK – but they did not get the order perfect. One of the 6 tires was for a different load rating, but still a rating that was OK for the RV. They did not notify me of this difference beforehand and caused some unnecessary stress. I had the tires installed by Bob Brown in Portland. They did a fine job. I was thankful for the good wifi in their lobby, as it took about 3-4 hours to get the job done. (Update/Dec 31: No problems with the tires after the first 1000 miles. That’s a relief.)
- The bike carrier we got from Blue Ox, the same company who made our tow bar (connects the “toad” to the RV). It is very sturdy and I don’t think we’ll have any problems from it. We also added a “drop hitch” to lower the connection between the RV and the toad. This makes it easier for the RV to bottom out on steep grade changes, but I suspect the only place this will be an issue will be our driveway. Getting all 4 bikes on the carrier is still a bit of a pain, but it’s about 10-15 min on and about 5 min off. Not bad. Update/Dec 31: When the bikes aren’t on the carrier, I’ve found the carrier is a bit of a head hazard (one good hit to my forehead already). The forehead hit hasn’t had any effect. I’ve found my memry is finne and my seplling contanues to be prefect, howaver.
- The rain leak may or may not be fixed. I spent a few days sealing up the roof seams, however (in between rain drops in Portland). Hopefully we’ll avoid the rain for the most part for the trip. 🙂
- The RV steps are stable for the moment. The pixies fixed it. I’m thankful. Hopefully the pixies remain happy with us.
- The sink fix was the easiest of all. I was pleased to find it was just a pipe fitting that was not connected cleanly (screws together).
There were many more RV prep items – converted the hanging clothes closet into a pantry with shelves, removed the TV and replaced it with a white board, and a battery case repair (to avoid dropping the house batteries on the freeway). The fixes will no doubt continue as we travel, but for now, the big items are covered. Yes!