Dear Dr. R.V. Shrink:
We bought a used motorhome recently and now live in it full-time. We love the lifestyle but it is causing my husband a lot of frustration. We are in the middle of this new learning curve and we find it very exciting. The problem arises when we have questions and get dozens of different answers. We recently had to replace the toilet. At the same time we tore the carpet out of the bathroom, put in a new sub floor and tiled. My husband was told by several RV parts dealers that there was no such thing as a closet flange extension to compensate for the raised floor. He was at wits end, and ready to pull the new floor up, when we walked into a parts store and found several of various lengths. This seems to be the norm as we maneuver through our shake down cruise. Do you have any suggestions as to how I can calm my husband’s nerves until we become more expert at this land yachting?
--Newbies in Nebraska
I understand completely. First let me say, “Never, and I mean never, take NO for an answer.” When you have rig questions, repair questions, travel destination questions, campground questions, and yes, even Shrink questions, always get a second opinion. It can be very frustrating when repair people tell you something you find out later is just not true. Diagnostic fees at RV shops can run as much as $100 and hour. I have been tempted to start an on the road diagnostic business myself. I think I would be as good as many so called experts I have dealt with. I would charge people a hundred bucks to look at their problem and say, “Yep, she’s broken!”
Seriously, you can start researching many questions on Google, talk to other RVer’s, sales and service people, even manufacturer’s tech support. Again, never take the first answer you get. Information is often clouded by what the company is selling, or brands carried. Sometimes a service tech doesn’t want to sound uninformed and will give you a line of BS that will throw your train of thought right off the track. Think of your many small problems as lessons you need to learn on your way to RV utopia. It’s all part of the adventure. Before long you will be giving others tips on how to avoid the land mines you have already disarmed.
--Keep Smilin’, Dr. R.V. Shrink