As men there are so many ways we try to exert our masculine self. I have always taken pride in being able to provide for my family. Since I’m a self proclaimed techno geek, I’ve always been able to handle our families technology needs. But one area where my confidence wasn’t quite there is in general repairs. Throw in the fact that my father-in-law was an incredible handyman. He did a wonderful job of teaching his daughter, my wife, how to handle just about every possible repair. I was recently reminded how much she knows when the garage disposal quit working. I was fully prepared to call a plumber. 


She dove under the sink, diagnosed the problem and sent me, yes me, to the store to get the supplies she needed. After that, I just decided to leave those type of repairs to her and the experts. 
That has all changed since we started RVing. It’s not that I felt inadequate, well maybe just a little bit. It seems that in the RV there’s always something that needs fixing. Keep in mind these RV’s are rolling houses and the US highways aren’t the smoothest roads to travel. 
When we recently left Maine and headed South towards Boston I noticed that the A/C nor the vent fans were working. It was rather cool outside and I just wanted to vent in fresh cool air. I knew they both worked about 10 days earlier and it just didn’t seem like they would just stop working. 
I checked the interior fuse box. No issue there. My first thought was I better call my dealership service manager and see about a mobile repair tech. Keep in mind we were almost 1000 miles away from our home dealership. When I got him on the phone he asked about the fuses. I responded that I had already checked the inside fuse box. Then he asked, what about the outside fuses? 


 It seems like the problem could be there. I thanked him for his help and set out to try and solve this problem. I went outside and opened the cargo bay door where the fuse box is located. I shouldn’t have been surprised to see not 1, not 2 but 3 or 4 fuse boxes! Where in the world do I start?  
I tried to open the first fuse box, but those metal clips that held the cover on didn’t want to release. After breaking two of the clips, I got the first cover off. I will admit, my eyesight isn’t what it once was, and the writing is so small in there. I was able to locate a few fuses that has something to do with the A/C. Wouldn’t you know I had to pull four different fuses before I found the one that had blown? 


 It was a 25 amp labeled “AC compressor. All I needed to do was grab a replacement fuse from the box of extra fuses that I have been meaning to buy for over a year now. That will teach me. So off to the auto parts store. 
I got a variety package of replacement fuses. I was already feeling very accomplished, having diagnosed the problem, and sought out the fix. I pushed the new fuse in its slot and strolled confidently into to cockpit of the RV. Turning the ignition on I saw the blue A/C light come to life and the fan began to roar. I raised my arms in exhilaration. Unfortunately, that moment of exhilaration lasted all of five seconds, when it all shut down. Wait, what’s going on now? This can’t be happening. I fit it. It worked. I wanted so badly to scream, “Nooooooooo”!!
Regroup. 
Now what? Call my service manager? No, how about just call the manufacturer service line? It is still under warranty. This should be their problem right?
I couldn’t give up that easy. I always tell my kids, just because they don’t get it the first time, don’t quit. Keep trying. So I took my own advice. I thought, it worked for alittle bit, maybe it was just a bad replace fuse. How long had that fuse sat in that package? Maybe it was just built poorly? Surely they don’t test each individual fuse that they manufacture.
So back outside I went. Grabbed a new replacement fuse and swapped out the fuse again. My walk back into the RV was much more cautious this time. I started the engine and carefully turned on the AC. I had turned the AC switch to OFF after the first failure. I didn’t want an unnecessary power surge to blow this new fuse. Success! A/C worked again. I let it run for 10 minutes, even turning it to full blast just to test my fix. And it never failed.


I had done it. I was filled with such pride! The reality has hit me, RVing is such a huge part of our lives. With all the fun and adventures comes the responsibility to maintain the RV. I need to learn more about basic trouble shooting RV problems. I’ve actually considered taking a course in RV repair through RVIA. As good as our dealership, NIRVC, has been in handling our service issues and needs, they can’t solve everything. I have to be able to solve some the minor repair issues. Now that I have conquered this one, I’m ready to learn how to handle bigger and better. 
I guess I get to keep my Man card! 

  

RVing has helped me unlock an inner resolve…..

11 thoughts on “RVing has helped me unlock an inner resolve…..

  • August 15, 2016 at 8:28 am
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    Good story about RVs and our relationship to those RVs! You are right, there always seems to be something that isn’t “right.” Since we are miles from anywhere when they happen we are usually on our own. We have bought a used class B motorhome so I am not sure who I would call if something didn’t work, I just have to work these things out and sometimes it is hard and very vexing. So, congratulations on getting it fixed.
    Our new (to us) camper is small enough you could tow it behind your motorhome! But it is enough for the two of us, fits our budget and our (tiny) driveway.
    Safe travels and keep these posts and pictures coming since we love seeing where you have been so we can plan some of our trips, after you have done the planning!

    • August 16, 2016 at 6:30 pm
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      Thank you. And I am committed to keep learning and more importantly. Keep traveling!!

  • August 15, 2016 at 10:24 am
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    You could also check out the RV Boot Camp that the Escapee’s RV Group puts on across the country.

  • August 15, 2016 at 11:16 am
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    Great post, Keith! I could have written it all myself. I recall being in Tennessee with a stabilizer that I had jammed and gotten stuck. There I sat on the ground with my $10 crappy tools toolkit and disassembled the leg before using a hatchet to skin some metal off. I put it all back together and we made our way down the road. For anyone else looking in, it was so minor- I undid a couple of bolts and slide a few pieces apart. But for me, it was a major accomplishment- my own father-in-law wasn’t there to save me. Since then I’ve learned more and more.

    Keep up the great work! If you dot he RVIA course, let me know and maybe we can go together.

  • August 15, 2016 at 11:34 am
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    Happy to hear of your willingness to diagnose the problem.However,that fuse blew for a reason.I am concerned that it will reoccur.I strongly suggest that you invest in an electrical multimeter and become familiar with it. They can be had for anywhere from 30 to 200 dollars,with the lower priced ones being sufficient for a novice.Keep a positive attitude and hope to see You and the family on the road.

    • August 16, 2016 at 6:27 pm
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      Agreed. I have brought the coach in for service to check out the underlying problem. I am excited to learn more about the coach and how to fix minor problems.

  • August 15, 2016 at 4:00 pm
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    If you want a 5 day course taught by an amazing teacher, take the 5 day RV Maintenance Technician Course offered by the Mobile RV Academy. Terry Cooper teaches you how to fix about 80% of what can go wrong in your RV. You can find out more about it here: https://rvtechcourse.com/

    • August 16, 2016 at 6:26 pm
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      Thanks for the great advice. I have heard of that course and will look into it. Have you take it yourself?

      • August 16, 2016 at 6:28 pm
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        Yes I have. It was the best 5 days I have EVER spent learning! I have now successfully replaced one of the landing legs on my 5th wheel and diagnosed a problem with my furnace (that I haven’t fixed yet 🙂 Feel free to email me if you want more info or insight.

  • August 23, 2016 at 8:44 pm
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    Awesome job Keith, Tracking down those little fuses can be a real pain in the butt. The one thing about anything that’s man made and really expensive, its prone to have something, go wrong sooner or later. The key is, You should learn as much about the product you own, now, which will help you when future problems arise. That goes for a house, car, boat and RV’s. I have taken a few classes on RV’s maintenance as well as the equipment I use to tow our car with. You’ll be surprise what you can learn, not only in maintenance and care but what other futures are installed with your product..

  • September 15, 2016 at 8:31 am
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    Keith, this reminds me of my father and how much I wish he was still around. I am not incredibly good with electronics, and he was, so I often miss his knowledge and help. I went camping for the first time by myself with my little t@b trailer and was not able to get some of my lights to work. When I got home, I pulled out all the fuses, they all looked okay, so I pushed them back in (done one at a time). I think one may have just loosened, as the next trip out, it all worked. I had a scary moment at first though, as when I first plugged my tiny trailer in, only my lights work, not my air conditioning. It was so hot, I literally was soaking with sweat by the time I had figured it out. I went back to the electrical post and realized I had plugged it in without switching the breaker off! I turned everything to off in the trailer, unplugged, it (maybe overkill, like I said, I don’t know what I am doing, lol…) switched the two breaker switches to off, plugged it back in, and everything (including the air conditioning, thank God!) was working.
    I had a friend along (I am a Sister on the Fly and she was a Sister on the Try camping with me). Besides being uncomfortable it would have been a very embarrassing thing for me to invite her along and then not have it work! By the way, she is African American (I know you are promoting camping travel for people who are African American), and though she has camped before, this trip with the trailer got her very interested in joining Sisters on the Fly, which is cool, all the ladies welcomed her with open arms;) fun bunch! I may have a camping buddy for my SOTF trips now! We karaoked, limboed, and crazy hat contested the weekend away, it was so fun!

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