Does RVer need a course in RV mechanics?


Dear RV Shrink:rvshrink
My wife thinks I should be a mechanic just because I have a travel trailer. Women used to want a guy that was “handsome,” now they want a guy that is “handy.” Last week the water coming out of the kitchen faucet started slowing down. Each day the stream would shrink a bit more. For days it had us puzzled. I figured it must be a pinched water line somewhere under the sink. I had most of that apart when my wife discovered it was only the strainer at the tap that was clogged. Should I take a course in RV mechanics or should I send my wife, who seems to have more aptitude for such things? —Ralph the Plumber in Platteville

Dear Plumber in Platteville:
You don’t have to be a mechanical genius to enjoy the open road in an RV. You always hear people say that a boat or RV is just a black hole you pour money into. I have never found that to be true as long as you take care of things on a regular basis. It is called precautionary maintenance.

In our internet-connected world you can go to one of many online RV Forums and find the answer to most any problem and discover how to fix it. Whatever has gone wrong has already happened to someone else who is willing to share the experience online and suggest how you might solve it. You can find YouTube videos on everything from fixing a leaky roof to changing the oil in the genset.

It sounds to me like you two make a good team. Often problems turn out to be a simple fix using a bit of common sense. Don’t make a mountain out of a mole hill, and solicit some advice before you start tearing the walls apart. BTW – I have it on good authority that Gail is the (very) handyperson in her and editor Chuck Woodbury’s motorhome.  —Keep Smilin’, Richard Mallery a.k.a. Dr. R.V. Shrink

Can’t get enough of the Shrink? Read his e-book: Dr. R.V. Shrink: Everything you ever wanted to know about the RV Lifestyle but were afraid to ask or check out his other e-books.




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Joel Hagler

We use mobile repair guys to fix our problems on our 28 ft class A. They do our maintenance, fix our steps, replace toilet, replace defective air conditioner, etc………and in our driveway.
No waiting weeks or months at the dealers.
They mobile guys are real competent.
Joel H….Huntington Beach, CA.

Roy Ellithorpe

I’ve owned 3 RVs, I am quite mechanical, and I beg to differ with you about them being black holes for money. The Montana was just a huge pile of small things that should have been on warranty but so much easier to do it myself. The Mobile Suites was pretty much the same, mostly to do with poor engineering and poor workmanship and really crappy warranty. The Travel Supreme, specifically bought used to avoid the frustrations of warranty. EGR valve $2500. Aqua Hot $1200 parts only plus an entire winter of trying to get it diagnosed. Magnum inverters, $800… Read more »


Join a Facebook group for your camper brand and you will always have free advice at hand.

Wayne Caldwell

Guys, just remember Red Greene’s advice: “If the women don’t find you handsome, they should at least find you handy”.

Gary R

Red Green also said “If it ain’t broken, you’re not trying hard enough”.