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Old 02-17-2016, 11:30 AM   #1
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My theory on fixing things

We have a 20yr old RV, and a 30yr old boat. We've only had the RV for a few months, but have been boaters for many years (decades, actually), always with a 'vintage' boat. Along the way I've come up with a theory on when, and when not to, fix something that's broken.

You now how it feels like just after you fix something that something else breaks, and it seems like there is always some bothersome item waiting for your attention (and time, and money). My theory is, when you get to something that you can live with, thought it might be a slight annoyance, and isn't a safety hazard, then don't fix it - that way the next thing in line isn't obligated to break because it's not its turn yet.

I've been doing that for years on our boats and it seems to work (or at least that's the way my selective memory rememebers it).
So far the RV hasn't asked me to test that theory yet, but I'm sure its time is coming.

So there you go, my idea of how to save time, money and aggrevation.
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Old 02-17-2016, 12:05 PM   #2
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I tend to let unessential repairs build up and then when something essential finally breaks I just go through and fix everything (or maybe I should say a lot of things LOL). However, your strategy sounds like a keeper!

Steve
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Old 02-17-2016, 12:14 PM   #3
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If I can live with it I usually leave it alone. Like my broken check valve on the city water port. I just left the ball valve in place that the previous owner put in to cope. It leaks (the external ball valve just a small drip ) which actually helps in 2 ways. One is the pump runs occasionally so I remember to switch it off. And also it releases the pressure in my qest polybutalyne piping that I won't be able to replace for quite some time.
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Old 02-17-2016, 12:23 PM   #4
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How I wish I were more like you guys
It would be a lot more relaxing...

I am anal retentive, so everything has to work properly.
AND, if everything is working properly, I always try to find something that I can make work better.

Then in my spare time, I browse this site for ideas on new things to buy and install on the RV....and then try to give them more horse power.....

Regards,

Dan
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Old 02-17-2016, 12:29 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by dpinvidic View Post
How I wish I were more like you guys
It would be a lot more relaxing...

I am anal retentive, so everything has to work properly.
AND, if everything is working properly, I always try to find something that I can make work better.

Then in my spare time, I browse this site for ideas on new things to buy and install on the RV....and then try to give them more horse power.....

Regards,

Dan
I find being broke goes a long way towards a do the best you can with what you've got outlook If I actually had the money I would redo everything with PEX, get the windows replaced with double pane and get a whole new roof along with some minor water damage fixed. And redo all the upholstery and carpet but since I have to live out of it on a shoestring the priority has been to arrest any decay and get everything functional that I need to live in it with.
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Old 02-17-2016, 12:34 PM   #6
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Ha, me too Dan.

For me the quest is for better fuel mileage, but I'm a worry-wart about things that don't work.

I fully understand the being broke thing, but if there's a possibility of being stranded in the middle of WY or some like place, or on the ocean, I'll figure out a way to get whatever is needed to avoid that. I've experienced those a time of two :-))

The roof would be important to me if it was leaking and I would keep it covered until I was able to fix/replace it. I do all the work myself and the savings from that allows more to be done. I think it's just a difference in personalities, for whatever reason.

Steve
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Old 02-17-2016, 12:44 PM   #7
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I find being broke goes a long way towards a do the best you can with what you've got outlook If I actually had the money...
Yes, that's very much the crux of the matter right there isn't it.
If I had piles of money stacked around I might approach things differently. But at some point it becomes a choice between food and fixing that squeak - the squeak loses every time.
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Old 02-17-2016, 12:53 PM   #8
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I love working on things and fixing things.
I have an older RV so I don't ever have anything to fix,Thinking about trading it for a new one so i'll always have something to fix.
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Old 02-17-2016, 01:01 PM   #9
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I fixed the essential things including a lot of work on the roof and windows, replacing the furnace, toilet and heat ducts, etc But the example I gave of the check valve is a minor annoyance that is on the bottom of the list for now. I never even use the city water port. I just need to keep the fresh water from pouring out of it and the workaround that is already in place does just fine enough for me to leave it alone and not mess around with pipe fittings almost as old as I am.
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Old 02-17-2016, 01:06 PM   #10
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Yes, that's very much the crux of the matter right there isn't it.
If I had piles of money stacked around I might approach things differently. But at some point it becomes a choice between food and fixing that squeak - the squeak loses every time.
That’s a smart comment regarding food versus repairs. Back in the 1960’s when I was a poor struggling college student my old motorcycle needed repairs. Since the motorcycle was my transportation and was useful for meeting hot women , I chose to spend my food budget repairing motorcycle. At the end of two weeks I was so hungry I would’ve pulled off the wallpaper in my apartment just to eat the paste .
Steve
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Old 02-17-2016, 01:45 PM   #11
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Thatís a smart comment regarding food versus repairs. Back in the 1960ís when I was a poor struggling college student my old motorcycle needed repairs. Since the motorcycle was my transportation and was useful for meeting hot women , I chose to spend my food budget repairing motorcycle. At the end of two weeks I was so hungry I wouldíve pulled off the wallpaper in my apartment just to eat the paste .
Steve
I remember those days too, with three young kids and a wife living on the GI bill, but with the help of food stamps we avoided the wallpaper thing :-)) I could barely maintain the bike and car, (I already had a hot chic) but they were necessary for the 50 mile round trip to school every day. We couldn't afford a house near school and were barely able to pay the $35.00/month on the old farm house we rented.

Our trip from WV to OR a few months after finishing school is another similar story. Think "Beverly Hillbillies :-))

Steve
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Old 02-17-2016, 03:23 PM   #12
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Quote:
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I love working on things and fixing things.
I have an older RV so I don't ever have anything to fix,Thinking about trading it for a new one so I'll always have something to fix.
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Old 02-17-2016, 07:27 PM   #13
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I like to fix things promptly. Figure out what the problem is and then go get all the parts you could possibly need, plus any specialty tools.

When everything is ready proceed to start the job. Finding that the size you measured was not the size you bought. Now try to find the bills for all of the stuff I just bought so I can take it back and buy the right stuff.

This may take a while!
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Old 02-21-2016, 04:38 PM   #14
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Choosing when and where to fix what-ever-it-is is a wonderful luxury that I often do not have. When money and time permit, I fix it. If it is important enough, I make the time and find the money. If it is not imperative, there is usually something to do first.

Once I start a project however, I like to restore it as much as I can. I may go in for a bad minor issue, but once I take it apart, I try not to put it back together with any other bad or weak parts...

I do not mind fixing things, in fact, I enjoy it. What I don't like is re-fixing things. In my mind, if I fix it, I should not need to visit it again for a long time.

Professionally, one might call this the 'enhanced service call'. Go in to update the relay, but while there you see the software is out of date, and the fuses are wrong, and the wiring has a bad terminal. You don't just replace the relay because that is the topic, you fix all that you see that is wrong...

I use the same logic when I fix at home or in the RV. I won't usually replace the working relay because it is out of date, if working well. But once it shows symptoms of failing, I go in prepared to upgrade the entire component. That is, of course, if I have the time and money. Which brings us back to the top of this posting....
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