Thursday, June 8, 2023


Think something is wrong with your RV? Perhaps check your memory instead…

Have you ever wandered around your RV for at least thirty minutes or more looking for an object? My husband and I joke about how we can lose something in an area that is so much smaller than our brick-and-mortar home. We are full-time so it is not like we have the excuse that we have not been in the RV for a while. I’m talking about losing items we put away yesterday and said, “Don’t let me forget I’m putting this here!” We complain about losing stuff in the RV but it’s not really the RV’s fault, now is it?

We have not only forgotten where we put things…

Woman cutting into wall with Dremel tool
We now have a new hatch to the washer, dryer connections.

Water leak incident

Since we full-time, one of the features we really wanted was a washer and dryer. Within a few months, we installed them and were relieved we didn’t have to tote laundry every week for the rest of our RV lives. Knowing we were getting the set, we let laundry stack up for the special arrival. Unfortunately, we only got three loads done and I found a big leak running across the floor.

Disappointment because, as you know, it is like you get one thing fixed on your RV and then it is two steps back. We try to be DIYers, so we unhooked everything again, pulled out the washer and dryer, got flashlights and looked down the holes. Couldn’t see anything so we got a Dremel tool and cut into the wall. It was then we had what my husband likes to call an epiphany (noun: (1) a usually sudden manifestation or perception of the essential nature or meaning of something; (2) an intuitive grasp of reality through something). The epiphany was: He did not open the drain outside and the water built up and leaked onto the floor.

So, we forgot to open the gray tank drain handle. But, we did learn a lot. We know what is behind the wall of the washer and what it should always look like. We know the tank can hold at least three loads of laundry before it says “no more.” And we know we can fix a leak, even when there isn’t one.

RV breaker panel switches
A flip of a switch can solve a lot of issues.

The air conditioner experience

I remember days of being slightly warmer in the RV. Our air conditioner wasn’t working.  We debated each day if we should get on the roof or if we needed to call a mobile tech.  And we went with choice number three—how long could we go before we had to deal with it? On the day we were about to break down and call someone (because it had been too windy to crawl on top), my husband had another epiphany.

While we were boondocking the previous months, he had turned off the breaker so we wouldn’t accidentally turn on the A/C’s. He went over, found the breaker, flipped it on, and blessed air conditioning blew out.

More learning. We learned that air conditioning feels a lot better when you haven’t had to pay to fix it. How powerful you feel to flip one switch, and something “broken” is now working again. And sometimes it does pay to delay a little before you make a big decision even if you have to sweat it out.

Sometimes when we think we are taking one step forward and two steps backward, it is really nothing more than a learning experience. Nothing was really ever wrong with the RV, there was just a little something wrong with our memory. It may be the RV, or it might be us, but together we are moving forward to great adventures and new epiphanies!

Hey… this sounds a little like Rod Andrew and his wife’s Sharon “epiphany” this week, too. Doesn’t it?


Lucinda Belden
Lucinda Belden
Lucinda has been a full-time RVer since 2019. She draws daily inspiration from the full-time RV lifestyle, motorcycling and world travel expeditions. Lucinda is also a part-time Program Director for MyRVRadio, a non-stationary radio station for RVers broadcasting news, events, culture, expert advice, humor, and entertainment. As a skilled entrepreneur, promoter and travel industry consultant, Lucinda also organizes national events for the outdoor industry.


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2 months ago

A/C issues. Evaporator coils shb serviced annually. that means a nasty job as those coils can become pretty disgusting. the sign? A/C starts dripping condensate. Also clothes washing. why do you need a dryer? just scatter wash throughout your coach and let air dry. takes about 8 hours. Like slides? well those things are a maintenance nightmare (there’s a REASON airstream coaches don’t have them). no hot water or burners? only use one tank concurrent, when empty switch to full and fill the empty. finally built in tanks are bad news they have a date on them what happens when they expire? I don’t think “they” make stainless tanks. nope, too bad (built-ins shb stainless… last forever).

2 months ago

Tried to troubleshoot a neighbor’s furnace that wouldn’t light and finally realized that he had run out of LP and his tanks were empty. I usually check the simplest reason first and failed to do it that time. It reminded me that I had gotten used to more complex problems and had skipped the simple reason.

Neal Davis
2 months ago

Thanks, Lucinda! I’m glad that at least some of your broken stuff is easily fixed. I certainly benefitted from your accounts of two instances of learning/easy repair. Thank you for educating AND entertaining me! 😎

Last edited 2 months ago by Neal Davis
Bob M
2 months ago

One thing I learned, sometimes the solution is the simplest thing that you think it can’t be and don’t check first.

2 months ago
Reply to  Bob M

Exactly. There’s a reason why the computer service desk always starts with ‘have you tried turning it off and then on again’. Or the electrician always starts with the breakers and fuses. There is a set progression of these little things to check before any walls get cut into. Of course in a house, you have no sewer valve to worry about, so it’s easy to overlook that when there’s a plumbing issue in the RV. Gotta add that one to the list of ‘simple stuff to check first’.

Tom H.
2 months ago

Similar washer/dryer experience. First load we had a leak and it was at the connection (the drain) behind the unit so it had to be removed and repaired. But then a week or so later another leak. After a lot of investigation including taking the unit out again and second guessing the purchase and install I found the source – yep, I didn’t open the grey tank drain. Now we never do laundry unless we have a sewer connection and the grey tank drain is open.

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