Monday, March 5, 2012

Repairs Made Easy........We Hope

I have been looking back at my posts and realized that I have made a lot of repairs since we have been here. One would think that our RV is falling apart around us. The latest repair that I have to make is the door lock mechanism. Our door is hard to close and latch so in doing so the handle on the inside has cracked. I have ordered the new part and will be installing it soon.

Trying to make repairs when you are in the boon docks can be difficult at times. The biggest problem is getting the necessary parts. There is no RV store close by so I have to order everything and get it shipped to the nearest town. This door problem is an easy fix and should be taken care in a jiffy.

The repairs that I have done on our RV are sometimes small in detail and large, like replacing the air conditioning unit. Most of the repairs can be accomplished with a little know how and common sense. If you have ever made any repairs to your sticks and bricks home, then you should be able to make repairs on your RV.

The basics still apply. The one thing you may need to study up on may be the 12 volt system that your RV has which is just like on your vehicle. When you are not hooked up to shore power, you are able to still have lights, water pump, fridge and your furnace. These items run off your battery, just think of what you were able to use if you have ever boon docked.

My first RV repair that I tackled was on our first bumper pull trailer. The fridge didn't work at all. I have never worked on anything like this before so I started to do some research on it. I found out that this model operates on ac power and battery. When I opened the outside panel I noticed a circuit board and an electric outlet with a cord plugged into it. OK that must be the ac part of the fridge. On the circuit board there were two fuses, one marked 12v and one marked ac. Both fuses were good. OK now lets apply some common sense here. When I was studying this board there were some other connections to it and more connectors. This board must be the heart of the fridge.

I started by checking the voltage on the outlet. Since it looked like any other household outlet I assumed that the voltage should be 110 volts ac, and it was. Then I checked the connector that said 12volts, meaning 12 volts dc, battery voltage and it had 12 volts. OK now, proper power going to it but the fridge doesn't work. The only conclusion that I came up with is that the circuit board was bad. I didn't know that for sure but I was about 85% sure of it. That still left 15% that it may still not work. When you order any electronic parts, like a circuit board, you cannot return it. The board that I ordered cost about $120. Now that 15% is really starting to bother me. The board came in and I installed it and it worked great.

In summarizing, you can repair items on your RV using some simple tools, applying logic and common sense. You should get a digital volt/ohm multi-meter or at least a volt meter, which can be purchased at most auto stores. Small parts such as 12 volt fuses can be purchased at the auto store but larger items or specialty items need to be purchased at your local RV store. What I mean is just because you have an RV that doesn't mean that you have to get everything at the RV store. Try thinking out of the box. Remember, someone installed it which means you can fix it. Don't be afraid to try, it can be done. You just need more information on the subject. Good luck and I would be happy to help if I can.

Until next safe.

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