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Old 09-26-2016, 11:26 PM   #1
pjb
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Maintenance Checks

We just completed a 5,400 mile trip in our pusher accompanied by friends in their 18 month old gas 34 footer. After a few days on the road, they had a problem with their auto step. It quit working and seemed to jamb up on something. His back was bothering him, so I climbed underneath to inspect the step and discovered that the mechanism was hitting on the battery box and binding. It was also pushing up on the battery box. We removed the step plates just inside the main entry door to the rig to get to the battery box for a better look. Personally, I think the battery location right under the entry door is a hazard in itself. Anyway, there were 4 batteries in a metal rack, and the crappy welds on one end of the box to the chassis had broken and the battery box was hanging in mid air and causing the step to jamb. The step operation was a minor issue when you consider the possibilities if that box broke loose and hit the road. I told him I wasn't going to allow him to move one mile down the road unless it was somehow secured. That night we tossed around some ideas from having a welder come out to him and repair the box, or somehow tie it up securely with some hardware. Next morning we went to town with a couple of ideas of securing the battery box. That idea changed when I spotted ratcheting tie-downs. He bought two of them and some additional "s" hooks. I climbed underneath, used a floor jack to press the box up where it should be and not be hanging by the wiring, fastened the tie-downs, cranked them snug, and took care of it for them. To me the most important part of this was that he had never inspected his batteries, which were a mess, never checked anything on the underside of his rig from water piping, brake lines, waste tanks and piping, to his tires, nothing since their purchase. In fact, he didn't even touch the batteries after we made the repair! Their attitude was that the rig was brand new and what could go wrong!! I was floored by this. I don't move my rig until I have gone through my checklist. For my safety and of others, preventive maintenance and inspections is a must with any rig before and while on the road.
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Old 09-26-2016, 11:49 PM   #2
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Checklist

Can you (are you willing to) share your checklist?

I am just getting started and am trying to find good checklist for pre travel, intermediate stops, final destination start up and shut down etc... I think your friends need to realize they share the roads with others. If they aren't doing the inspections then they need to pay someone to do it for them 😀

Though this issue should go to the warranty process I think 😀
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Old 09-27-2016, 05:51 AM   #3
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What you just described is in my opinion one of the major reasons we see so many posts with owners, usually fairly new owners, screaming about how horrible their RV is, how bad the the manufacturer is, I want my money back etc. etc. etc. Some people are just lazy, clueless or have no experience with complex systems or machinery and make no effort to gain that knowledge until something happens than woe is me. Having been around equipment most of my life I am well aware that maintenance is an absolute requirement and stuff does break, be prepared.

I guess I am ranting about this because a couple of days ago I spent several hours helping a neighbor here track down an electrical/AC problem in an high-end fifth wheel that he has owned for several years yet he had no manuals, did not know where his cut-off switches were and took an hour to find the key to his battery bay.

Ok rant over where's my second cup of coffee?
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Old 09-27-2016, 08:43 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RV-Writer View Post
Can you (are you willing to) share your checklist?

I am just getting started and am trying to find good checklist for pre travel, intermediate stops, final destination start up and shut down etc... I think your friends need to realize they share the roads with others. If they aren't doing the inspections then they need to pay someone to do it for them 😀

Though this issue should go to the warranty process I think 😀
Go to RV Basics .com - RV Information for RVers about RVing
You will find all kinds of checklists there.
Great site for newbies and just to refresh.
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Old 09-27-2016, 01:40 PM   #5
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RE: "Their attitude was that the rig was brand new and what could go wrong!! I was floored by this..."

I just witnessed a Class-A RV that caught fire at a refilling station. It appears the fault was a fuel line that had gone brittle and leaked fuel and ignited. The Owner had just pulled off the freeway for refilling when it occurred. A total Loss!

FWIW: I've replaced several genset fuel lines over the years that appear normal; but when tested by bending revealed to be heavily cracked and in need of replacement. To the naked eye, they appear acceptably normal; but were a hazard-in-the-making.

While it's no guarantee to have been avoidable; it's a simple reminder that time, vibration, workmanship and exposure to the elements can cause problems unbeknownst to the Placid Owner. Due diligence on the upkeep, along with becoming knowledgeable for what systems to check and eyewitness personally, will go a long way toward catching some items before they escalate into catastrophe events such as the above. The additional benefit is this gives the Owner a knowledgeable base for doing his own roadside repair or not being ripped-off by unsavory mechanics who see his naivety.
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Old 09-27-2016, 03:57 PM   #6
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If you have a Smart Phone, you can install an RV Checklist. I have one from Adventure Treks on my phone. May be a little overkill for some..........
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Old 09-29-2016, 06:20 PM   #7
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Overkill? I would probably get my list, laminate it, find a grease pencil and mount it like a pilots pre flight check list
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