Dear Dr. R.V. Shrink:
My wife gets irritated with me every time we start out on a trip. We recently headed south with our Class “C” motorhome and the morning we left it was below zero. Everything was frozen. I lost my two front hub caps somewhere along the highway the first morning. My starting battery was being ornery. When we hit warm weather and I could add water, the hot water heater wouldn’t kick on. After an hour I found the problem to be the reset button. Now I am sitting on the Florida surf and my air conditioning, that I just spent $500 dollars repairing, isn’t working. It seems like every time we leave there are several problems to solve. I make sure all systems are go before I store the rig, but it never fails to challenge me the first few days on the road. My wife thinks it’s just me. She says, “It’s Murphy’s Law, and Murphy is shadowing you all the time.” Don’t other people have these same problems? Is it me? Am I just not cut out for the RV lifestyle? Any help would be greatly appreciated.
--Murph the Surf in Sarasota
Don’t sweat it buddy. The first few days out with your rig is called the “Shakedown Cruise.” Everybody has your same problems. Often a rig that sits, develops more problems than one that is in constant operation. You should think of your problems as educational experience. Remember, “Adversity builds character.” Every time you work through a problem, it becomes one more notch on your maintenance gun. Next time you will know exactly what is wrong or be able to help someone else figure it out. My guess is that you have snap on wheel covers. Don’t replace them. You can buy bolt on covers for less money and not have to worry about losing them every time some tire jockey works on your rig and doesn’t replace them properly. Add valve extensions at the same time if you haven’t already. Checking tire pressure often will save you money in the long run. I am going to guess that when you left home you were doing big miles every day trying to reach warmer weather. Long days of driving can be stressful, especially when things are not all functioning properly. The right mental attitude is everything. Begin a trip realizing that you are going to have some mechanical challenges. It’s all part of the adventure.
--Keep Smilin’, Dr. R.V. Shrink