Tuesday, November 28, 2023


RV Shrink: If the RV’s broke, switch it

Dear RV Shrink:
Recently we had a problem on the road with our water overflowing when we were hooked up to water. It would not stop flowing out the manual fill port on our rig. My husband said, “It’s time to sell.” He thinks fixing a problem on our RV requires buying a new one. He is never happy. We had a Class C and he wanted a 5th wheel. Now we have a 5th wheel and he wants a Class A.

I say just repair what we have. All our friends have bought brand-new rigs and they spend more time in the shop than they do in the campground. Would you agree that buying and selling all the time is a waste of time and money? —Frugal and Floating in Fremont

Dear Floating:
First, let’s fix the leak so we can concentrate on your husband’s need to jump from rig to rig.

If you haven’t figured out your problem yet, your water diverter valve is shot. The quick fix, if not near a parts outlet, is to switch it with the winterizing valve. It’s the same valve and you can just buy a new one when it’s convenient. To be cautious always turn the valve to the right position before you turn the water on. Pressure can cause valve seal damage. It’s a simple fix. Most are PEX fittings, so it takes little time to replace the valve if you can get at it easily.

As for your husband, that is not so easy. If you have more money than God or a printing press like the Federal Reserve, why not let him get one of each. But if you are like the rest of us I would nail him down to just one. In most cases, you’re going to lose money buying new and selling soon.

It doesn’t take a math genius to see how dealers play with trade-in numbers like a shell game in an alley. You think you’re getting a great deal until you get outside, and your wallet is gone, and all you have is mustard on your shirt from that free hot dog I talked about a couple of weeks ago.

You know if you give in to the Class A he is going to start shopping trailers next. I would focus on insisting he lose no money on a trade-in if you are truly not in favor of him buying a new rig. It’s easy for me to say because I don’t have to listen to him whine.

The other problem could be he just doesn’t like hauling a 5th wheel and regrets switching. Perhaps he doesn’t want to admit it and is just trying to get back to a motorhome. This happens a lot. My father-in-law could drive a tour bus full of people right into the heart of New York City or Boston, but he just couldn’t back up a 5th wheel up to save his soul. If this is the case, you better let him get a motorhome before he breaks something. —Keep Smilin’, Richard Mallery a.k.a. Dr. R.V. Shrink

Can’t get enough of the Shrink? Read his e-books, including Book 2 in his two-book series: 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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Abe Loughin (@guest_58248)
3 years ago

The water issue is most likely not a diverter valve as most 5th wheels don’t have one. The most likely culprit is the built in check valve in the water pump. If the check valve fails, city water pressure will back fill the fresh water tank.

Drew (@guest_57977)
3 years ago

When I had that problem it was the city water fill fitting. Very easy and cheap to repair.

misterg (@guest_57953)
3 years ago

The problem could also be the check valve in the water pump

Donald N Wright (@guest_57889)
3 years ago

He is probably thinking about trading in his wife for a bigger model…

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