Full-timers -- a place to do DIY repairs & maintenance

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o541o

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Jul 14, 2018
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I am researching the feasibility of going full time soon. I will need to get an older RV and anticipate that naturally there will be things that need to be fixed.

Where do you full-timers with no Stick & Brick home base do any DIY repairs/maintenance/upgrades? I'm thinking that most anything inside is no problem, who would see or care? But let's say the rubber roof needs replaced or I want to install solar panels. Or minor engine/chassis repairs (water pump, alternator, brakes etc)

I'm sure RV parks and campgrounds (understandably) prohibit that sort of thing. I cringe at the thought of having to pay someone literally thousands for what I could do myself for a few hundred bucks.
 

SeilerBird

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Feb 25, 2012
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St Cloud Florida USA
Most RV parks won't even notice someone working on their RV. I full timed it for years and when the RV needed work I would call a mobile mechanic from Craigslist. Never any problems.
 

o541o

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Jul 14, 2018
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SeilerBird said:
Most RV parks won't even notice someone working on their RV. I full timed it for years and when the RV needed work I would call a mobile mechanic from Craigslist. Never any problems.
Thanks for the reply.  Really they don't care? I am surprised.

Understand I would MUCH rather pay for all repairs/maintenance but as funds will be somewhat limited they need to be saved for things I simply can't do.

Surely I'm not the only one in such a position? I wonder what others do?
 

John From Detroit

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Davison Michigan
I have seen a lot of work done on -site in several campgrounds. From minor things like I just finished a re-furb of my half bath. New floor new Toilet all indoor work.

To major reworks cabinetry major re-plumbs basically tear it out and put in new level work.
 

o541o

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John From Detroit said:
I have seen a lot of work done on -site in several campgrounds. From minor things like I just finished a re-furb of my half bath. New floor new Toilet all indoor work.

To major reworks cabinetry major re-plumbs basically tear it out and put in new level work.

Yeah, for indoor work I can see how some places might not care. Heck they might not even know providing noise is minimal and one doesn't leave a bunch of junk outside.
 

o541o

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darsben said:
Some camp ground PROHIBIT working on your RV. Usually minor repairs to critical systems are overlooked but major repairs are not allowed.
Palm Creek, Fiesta Grande in Casa Grande are two that come to mind.

I would think that would be more the norm more often than not.
 

o541o

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Jul 14, 2018
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I guess if one doesn't own some property (or family does) then they just better count on paying for whatever work needs to be done.

I've talked to a couple RV owners that I know and they both said that when you take your RV in just count on it being minimum of about $1000 every time.
 

Rene T

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Farmington NH
The CG I stay in during the winter, there was a guy who had his roof resealed last year. It took 2 days and no one said anything. I'm sure thy would frown if they pulled the engine out and was rebuilding it right on site.
 

o541o

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Rene T said:
The CG I stay in during the winter, there was a guy who had his roof resealed last year. It took 2 days and no one said anything. I'm sure thy would frown if they pulled the engine out and was rebuilding it right on site.

Great! That's the kind of report I was hoping to hear. I'm starting to get the picture that some RV parks are reasonably tolerant of work being done while perhaps the more "upscale" parks are more like a fussy HOA community where they don't even allow your car hood to be opened outside of your garage!
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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At our Silver Springs FL home
Many parks will have a rule prohibiting working on the RV.  And most of those will turn a blind eye as long as it's not objectionable to the neighbors and surroundings.  A few, though, are just plain sticky about it, zero tolerance.

A campfire story: I was working on a balky awning in a state park. It turned into a bit more work than I hoped, and I had to disassemble it a bit. A park ranger pulls up and says "no RV repairs in the park".  Of course, it's already apart, so I say I have to finish putting it back together to be not working on it.  He says "I know, I saw you what you were trying to do, so I didn't rush right over here, but I have to tell you 'no repairs in the park!'".
 

o541o

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Gary RV_Wizard said:
Many parks will have a rule prohibiting working on the RV.  And most of those will turn a blind eye as long as it's not objectionable to the neighbors and surroundings.  A few, though, are just plain stick about it, zero tolerance.

A campfire story: I was working on a balky awning in a state park. It turned into a bit more work than I hoped, and I had to disassemble it a bit. A park ranger pulls up and says "no RV repairs in the park".  Of course, it's already apart, so I say I have to finish putting it back together to be not working on it.  He says "I know, I saw you what you were trying to do, so I didn't rush right over here, but I have to tell you 'no repairs in the park!'".

Thanks! Again, that's more what I was hoping for.  I probably should also consider boondocking?
 

HueyPilotVN

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Jun 5, 2012
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Lake Havasu City, AZ
I might someday regret saying this but...Here is an open invitation to bring your projects, maintenance tasks, or other repairs to Lake Havasu City to the RV Forum free shop.

I took a little liberty there in using the Forum name in the offer.

I guess I could have called it the "Redneck Free Shop", but the other sounds much better and safer and might not scare someone off.

 

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Gizmo

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Wherever we park it
As mentioned it will depend on individual parks, what their rules are and whether they choose to enforce them.  I have personally not run into an issue, but most of my repairs and mods have been pretty minor.  I have installed a solar panel in one park we stayed in and one of the park attendants even waved and said hi while doing so.  It just depends.  You will want to read the rules of any parks you anticipate staying in ahead of time when planning any projects.
 

NY_Dutch

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Nov 22, 2010
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Where our wheels take us!
As said, it varies from park to park. Over the years I've been in many parks where someone was doing routine maintenance on their RV such as oil changes, filters, etc., with no complaints by park management. I've also seen or done many minor repair jobs at parks, including replacing awning fabric, decal/striping removal, and brake jobs and bearing repacks with no complaints. In general, it seems that the more expensive the park, the more likely they'll kick up a fuss over any work being done. At one $75 per night park, I was threatened with eviction while washing my front windshield because rig washing wasn't allowed. When I explained I was only cleaning the bugs off, I was told that's not allowed by the guests, but they have a service we can call to do it. I didn't ask how much the service charges, or how much commission the park gets.
 

timjet

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Tampa Bay
It depends on the park. I would think many public parks would not notice as it is rare in my experiences to even see a campground worker or ranger in a public park. A private park is a no go.

We stayed at a Corps of Engineer CG just SW of Santa Fe, N.M. in May and had a residential refrig installed by a mobile mechanic. It took 4 days and the only comment was from a ranger that asked the mechanic to move his truck so it wouldn't block the access road.
 

JudyJB

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If you have a stuck awning or a stuck slide, as I once did in a campground, you obviously cannot drive it as it is, so places seldom mind if you are just making a vehicle drive-able.  I also had a front steering shock drop down as I was driving and scrape along the pavement making a horrible noise. I found a nearby state park to stay in and had to call a mobile mechanic to come and fix it.  No complaints from anyone because these were needed repairs.

Now, if you decided to drop the transmission and replace it onsite, I can see where someone would get upset because that would cause a mess and a lot of noise.  They also dislike you to do things like oil changes in public parks because of the chances of spilling oil, etc.
 
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