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Posts in category 5th Wheel (RV)

RVing in the Winter Day 2

Water is still frozen and fresh water tank is now empty. Tank is empty because kitchen facet was still working. We are going to wait to fill it until weather warms up a little. Friday forecast is showing above freezing temps. It is currently snowing and the temp is 1 degree with feels like temp at -10. IMG_2056We will need to go and get one of our LP tanks filled today and I am hoping second tanks has enough gas to last why we get other tank filled. I had to youtube is see how our LP system worked I didn’t understand the automatic switchover valve. Our 5th wheel is equipped with two 30 pound LP tanks. They are connected to a automatic switchover valve so when one tank goes empty it will automatically switchover to the other tank. There is plastic bubble with a green or red color in the bubble to let you know when the primary tank is empty. You can tell which tank is the primary by the direction the automatic switch lever is pointing. When switching out the tanks you turn the switch to the tank that still has gas and then disconnect the empty one. Sounds pretty simple but I didn’t know to switch the valve over when disconnecting the empty tank until watching a youtube video on how the automatic switchover works.

RVing in Winter Weather

So we are officially rving in winter or at least winter temps. We have been staying at Boyd Lake State Park since we been in Colorado. Weather has been VERY nice upper 60’s to lower 70’s. Woke up Monday morning to 64 degrees outside by Monday afternoon temperature  had dropped over 40 degrees. Monday evening we were in the teens. We have been using a radiant heater with furnace set to about 60 so not to use so much propane (this may not have been a good idea). IMG_2048Sunday we knew colder weather was coming so we put window plastic on 90% of the windows and weather stripping around door. By 6pm Monday night we decide to go to Walmart and purchase another small heater. Our rv runs on a 30 amp connection. This sucks when trying to run two small space heater. We were constantly popping breakers. Late Monday night half of our water lines are frozen (the bathroom half). First thing that happens when your lines freeze is panic. Second thing is search Google to find out what to do. We turned the furnace up to about 72 degrees and opened all cabinet doors to get warm air to water lines. We finally decide there was not much more we could do at this hour so grabbed our blankets and went to bed and figured we would deal with it in the morning.

Woke up this morning to about 15 degrees outside. Kitchen water lines still work bathroom lines still frozen. Ran an extension cord from the power pole and set the new small space heat in the bottom compartment of rv to try and thaw the frozen waterlines. IMG_2054The power pole has a separate breaker so I could run both heaters without popping breakers in the rv. So far lines are still frozen but hoping that after heater runs for awhile they will thaw out. At this point we wait it out and use the campsite facilities and hope the weather warms up sooner rather than later but I think the cold weather is here for at least the next few days. I guess this is part of living the rv dream if your living it in northern parts.

Our first cross country haul.

Well, we have finally started living in our RV. We have arrived at our first extend stay location. We will be staying in Colorado for at least the next few months. We started our cross country haul late Saturday afternoon. I had to back up the RV (5th wheel) for the first time and it really was not as bad as I thought it would be. Tip: Tow mirrors makes a hug difference. Ok, I will admit the thought of pulling a 10K pound RV 700 mile was making me very nervous. I have never pulled anything this big or heavy.  It’s not only pulling the RV, but I am pulling it with a used GMC with almost a 150k miles on it. At this point the only thing to do was to feel the fear and do it anyway. We stopped by JJ’s to say bye to Sadie and then jumped on Hwy. 30 to start our journey west. The plan was to travel as far as we could Saturday and then stop for the night somewhere in Nebraska. We traveled Hwy. 30 all the way to Grand Island, NE. and stopped and stayed at a pet friendly Roadway Inn.  I will have to stay I am glad we decide to take the the hwy. rather than Interstate 80. We drove around 55 – 60 which was fast enough, at least until I got used to pulling the RV and how it would feel behind the truck. When first getting started down the hwy. the ride was very bouncy. I was thinking to myself “I hope this is normal” then I thought “I don’t know if I am going to be able to stand 700 miles of bouncing in this truck” It Felt like my insides where being bounced all over the place. I think my co-pilot (Jude) was feeling the same as me but all and all he did very well traveling. JudeFinally everything smoothed out and I could hardly feel the RV behind me. So after the first 100 miles I figured out that all of the bouncing was due to the road surface. New blacktop very smooth, old blacktop very bouncy! My nerves had finally started to settle after I knew the bouncing was from the road and not something wrong with the RV or truck. The other thing that took awhile to get used to was breaking. When going down the hwy. you don’t think much about stopping. But when traveling hwys instead of interstates you have to slow your speed through towns and in the bigger towns you will be stopping at the stop lights. I have learned to start slowing down way before the lights because it takes awhile to get that much weight stopped. We woke up Sunday and had some hotel breakfast and got back on the hwy. This time we decided to jump on to the interstate. Even through the speed limit through NE is 75 I think the fastest I ever got up to was 70. I tried to stay around 65 as I felt pretty comfortable cruising at that speed. The last thing about the 700 mile journey I learned about hauling the RV and driving this truck was the poor poor gas milage we got. I would say we averaged between 8-10 mile per gallon. The truck had plenty of power with a 8.1 liter motor but it also consumes the gas.

RV Inspection & Repairs

After only staying one night in the RV and before going on our Florida bike trip we decide to store the RV at Webster City RV which is right off Hwy. 20 which was also right on the way home. We planned on storing it there until after our Florida trip. We figured while it was there it would also be a good time to have it inspected to make sure everything was going to be ok before heading to Colorado at the end of October. Inspection cost would be around $200 but we figured for $200 better safe than sorry. We knew everything worked because we used everything the night before so wasn’t expecting to have to many things wrong but didn’t know the last time it had been in for just a routine maintenance. About two days in to our bike trip I get an email from Kenny at Webster City RV sending me an estimate for all the things they had found that should be repaired. Repairs totaled just over $4500. We were like WHAT. At this point we were feeling like maybe the good price we got the RV at might not have been that great of a price after all. I got a hold of Kenny and told him we need to prioritize the repairs and what repairs could either be done myself or at a later date. After going through the list several time and talking it over we decide the most important was the bedroom slide. The bedroom slide floor was rotten and I knew this would be a job I did not want to tackle on my own.Photo Oct 12, 8 40 07 AMPhoto Oct 12, 8 40 57 AM

The slide repair was estimated to cost around $1800. We decide we would also do the wash and roof condition, and get the fresh water fill hose fixed. When everything was all said and done we were looking at around $2500 including the inspection cost. Called Kenny and said go ahead with these repairs. After a couple of days got another call from Kenny letting me know that the slide repair was finished and that the labor hours where about twice what he had quoted. The labor for the slide estimate was 12 hrs. Actual hours of labor was around 22. He told me he would stick to the labor estimate and not charge for the extra hours worked and said he would chalk it up to a learning experience. Next thing that he need to discuss was the fresh water fill host. He had estimate only an hour to fix. The service tech informed him the underbelly of the RV needed to be dropped to get to the fill hose and this added another 3 hours of labor. We decided this was more important to fix then the wash and condition so we removed that part and told them to go ahead with fresh water hose fix with the extra labor hours. Final email from Kenny, RV was done and total cost ended up at just below $2800. Even though I was not expecting $2800 in repairs when asking for an inspection I am glad all of this was found and repaired before we left. Most of everything else on the list we can do ourselves. The people at Webster City RV where very good to work with and did a great job on fixing the slide. It worked and looked great. Also since the RV was serviced and repair they did not charge us for storing.

First Time 5th Wheelers

This weekend we picked up our new 5th wheel. It is a 2002 Keystone Montana. I have to admit I was a little nervous. I have never pulled a 5th wheel or a trailer this big (32ft.). The RV was up at Twin Lakes just north of Rockwell City, IA.We spent Friday night in it and figured out how everything worked. First thing was the furnace. Temps that night got down to upper 30’s (to cold for early Sept.). I figured the furnace would have a pilot light just like the one in my house but finally found out it does not. Everything is electric including the hot water. This is very nice, turn on LP and adjust thermostat and that’s it. Next morning was the start of several new experiences: closing up the RV and getting it ready for travel, connect RV to truck, pulling RV, and dumping tanks (not as bad as I thought but don’t forget rubber cloves). Connecting RV to truck was pretty easy. I did watch several videos on YouTube, which helped a lot. Finally we were off on the road pulling this big RV. When we first started I was having a slight panic attack, but after about 10-15 minutes it was not too bad. The truck pulled well! It was a bit bouncy but I think this was just a rough road. We pulled it about 30-40 miles and dropped it off at Webster City RV to get serviced and will be picking it backup in Oct when we will be heading west.