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Old 12-22-2009, 10:26 PM   #1
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Campgrounds and DIY RV maintenance??

As a future full timer and an avid DIY guy, How firendly are most campgrounds/RV parks for normal maintenance? I'm not talking about oil changes, gotta be careful with that one I'm sure, but what if I lose a compressor and have to haul out my compressor and air tools. Am I gonna be asked to leave? Am I gonna have more help than I have beer?

This really a big issue with me as my "new" Class A is wearing a 10 year old badge.

Just a side note...This forum Rocks!!

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Old 12-23-2009, 12:30 AM   #2
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We're also full-timers. We do a lot of maintenance at campgrounds but try to be as discreet as possible. Hence no washing, no waxing, no impact hammers, and no putting the rig up on jacks. The one time an owner complained, I told him that we couldn't move until I fixed the oil sender unit. In truth, I was simply doing an oil and filter change. It's all part of life on the road. Bottom line: Keep it low key and you'll be fine.

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Old 12-23-2009, 12:32 AM   #3
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I doubt you'll be asked to leave unless you're obviously obnoxous with what you're doing where it would really bother others. Quite the contrary, the staff may offer to help.

Having had to make a repair in a CG, I can confirm that you will have more help than beer. Campers seem to watch out for each other & if you are in a bind, they are more than willing (if not always knowledgeable) to lend a hand. One of our members had a windshield issue at our last National Rally & there were members on ladders, in the rain, with tape, caulk & umbrellas in hand to get them sealed up enough to make it home for repairs. We were even at a CG once where the staff helped us repair a tire leak in our Jeep for free (they had a small repair shop on site).

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Old 12-23-2009, 07:13 AM   #4
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Most campgrounds have rules against performing mechanical work, but we are full-timers and I have done some work on our motorhome. I have occasionally changed oil, I installed a steering stabilizer, polished wheels, rotated tires (on the toad), caulked the roof, etc.

As others have said, be discrete. If you're changing the oil for example, it will be less obvious if you don't open the hood until you're ready to add the new oil and keep the cans of oil out of sight until you're ready to use them. I usually wait until we have a site that is somewhat secluded, and I don't do the work (unless it is an emergency repair) when the campground is crowded.

Don't make too much noise. A pneumatic hammer or air impact wrench would be no-nos. Above all, when doing something with the potential of being messy like changing oil, make sure you use a drop cloth and take precautions against spills. Mess, noise and the appearance of being a mobile home park with vehicles up on jacks are the reasons working on your RV is usually banned in the first place.
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Old 12-23-2009, 07:47 AM   #5
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When we first started full-timing, I had to rebuild the entire back wall on our Aljo TT. No problems as the CG had mostly VW factory workers and they were at work. Had help from a fellow with all air tools, really went well. CG had no problem as long as there was no mess. Ed
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Old 12-23-2009, 08:14 AM   #6
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I talked to a fulltimer this fall and he said that Escapee CGs allow oil changes and probably some repairs.
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Old 12-23-2009, 09:36 AM   #7
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I talked to a fulltimer this fall and he said that Escapee CGs allow oil changes and probably some repairs.
This is true - most Escapees parks have a special area for work to be done - usually near the maintenance shed. The one at Summerdale, AL even has a barrel for used oil (with disposal fee of 25 cents a quart payable at the office). This is great for your toad or tow vehicle, but you would probably have to pull your RV off the site and take it to the work area. But it's better than having to drive completely off site and paying big bucks to have someone else do the work.
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Old 12-23-2009, 10:04 AM   #8
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Even though I only have a trailer, I keep a small handy box full of washers, bolts, nuts, nails, fuses, screws, springs, cotter pins, hose clamps, wire, bulbs, "O" rings, electrical connectors...... I don't know how many times I have dug in there for an item for myself or another camper in need of something to be repaired.
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Old 12-23-2009, 10:19 AM   #9
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I just completed tearing out and replacing all of the flooring in our 40 DP and never had a single complaint. Discretion is the key... even though it was tough to be totally discrete with such a large job. It's great having the large dumpsters available to handle material from the tear out too but I spread the material around between several dumpsters so I wouldn't fill up any one unit.

Like many things, the Golden Rule applies here.
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Old 12-23-2009, 10:41 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BABrede View Post
As a future full timer and an avid DIY guy, How firendly are most campgrounds/RV parks for normal maintenance? I'm not talking about oil changes, gotta be careful with that one I'm sure, but what if I lose a compressor and have to haul out my compressor and air tools. Am I gonna be asked to leave? Am I gonna have more help than I have beer?

This really a big issue with me as my "new" Class A is wearing a 10 year old badge.

Just a side note...This forum Rocks!!

Kerry
10 years old? Is that all you've got? Yeah, you are gonna have to do repairs. We own a 1988 Prevost and we have had to do (an chosen to do) repairs in a number of campgrounds but anything that requires a lot of noise if pretty well frowned upon. If you can use a hand wrench instead of your air tools you will likely have a better experience. We had to remove our holding tanks and house batteries, do repairs to the flooring and all of the plumbing connections, re-install with a new (non-leaking) fresh water tank and re-insulate the flooring. Since I was doing it all myself (and learning along the way) it took over a week to get it all done. We kept the tanks out of view as much as possible, we kept the site VERY neat and organized and we tried as hard as possible to not look like the "Clampetts".
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Old 12-24-2009, 03:22 PM   #11
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I've worked on our RV in a campground before. We were the only ones there. I had to fiberglass/bondo the rear siding. I wallpapered the ceiling (anaglypta paper) and paintered it while in a GA state park. Luckily we were on private property when we had to pull the black & grey tanks to fix cracks in the tanks (had to sit and dry for a couple of days). Currently, we are in a park (lots of older mobile homes) and I think several of them are being worked on. We are enclosing our hot dog cart and added a triple bowl sink, running hot/cold water system, custom built screens, custom screen door (per city regs). We are using a cordless circular saw and a cordless drill. And lots of paint (everything takes 3 coats of latex). We will need to convert a bus while in campgrounds. I'm hoping we can rent a bay in the storage units next door, for building tanks, etc and park the bus in the yard there as well until we get the bathroom & kitchen in and usable. Then we put it in the campground and work in it while living in it. We will also have to build another hot dog cart and will need the storage bay to make gingerbread trim, and other stuff. Everyone is interested in the cart. The owner walks by us at least once a day. We do pick up everything and toss trash asap. We store excess in our jeeps.

We would not have been able to do this at the campground we were in in Fulton. They didn't want us to put the cart on our site.

The campground we were in in NM pretty much ignored the lady next to us who stripped out the interior of her RV. She was pretty quiet about it too.

You can do a fair amount by working quietly and doing small amounts. We call it "stealth remodeling".
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Old 12-25-2009, 11:42 AM   #12
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Thanks a lot guys and gals. Good information here. I'm a pretty neat person and I'm very considerate of others so I should't have any problems.
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Old 12-25-2009, 12:41 PM   #13
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I have seen restrictions on washing your rig (Mostly due to water restrictions in some areas) but when it comes to maintenance.. The only rule is quite hours.. I'd not be using the impact wrench at midnight.. NOON, yes, but midnight no.

I carry a fairly decent "Shop" with me.
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Old 12-25-2009, 02:09 PM   #14
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YEP Discretion is key

I have seen folks do some pretty involved things and they were very mindful of their surroundings and it went off without a bad word or thought.

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