By Russ and Tiña De Maris
An old friend of ours who’d recently bought a big motorhome detailed a “tale of woe” he’d experienced while trying to get ready for a road trip. Somehow things went gunnybag with his “pre-owned” rig’s inverter. Aside from having to replace the inverter, he also learned he’d need to have a big, 250 amp fuse to protect it, and some new heavy gauge cables, too.
In an e-mail our friend writes: “I called Magnum, the manufacturer of the inverter, and they asked me my first name and Zip code and gave me the address of [a marine supply dealer] and they fixed me up with a 250 Amp fuse and holder to the tune of $47.75!”
Regarding two new cables (a six footer, another a foot long) needed for the installation: “Just go down to your friendly Interstate Battery dealer and have a new set made up …$65.00 later…one lesson learned.”
Sad to say, our friend mentions this in the past tense. Over a hundred bucks spent. These were lessons we as RVers had already learned. That fuse? We found one for less than $5.00. The cables? Nothing more than welding cable, which runs about $3 a foot. Our buddy could have done the work himself, and with fuse, “holder” (another do-it-yourself trick), cables and connectors, probably would have spent no more than $45.
The lesson? Before you undertake to spend money on RV fix-ups, ask an experienced RVer. Don’t know one? There are many great places on the Internet to get information and share ideas. A variety of RV forums are where thousands of RVers gather to share advice, and in the end, save one another lots of dough.
And like your Grandad always said, “The only dumb question is the one that you don’t ask.” So don’t be afraid to let folks know that you’re new to the RV scene and you need a little help. Many old-timers in the RV world are not only a wealth of helpful advice, they’re plenty generous with it, too.