Is a problem a day normal?

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1961jasonmason

New member
Joined
Sep 23, 2021
Posts
1
Location
TX
Rented a small tow trailer Oct 2020 as an effort to travel a week in pre-vaccine COVID. Owner was a piece of work and we ended up fixing from our own time, labor and $ something everyday, but still loved the experience and the idea. Well, we were glad once the “experience “ with that owner was over! Took a bit of time with pandemic conditions to find our RV but we finally did. Technically a used RV but could have been sold as new. The bed was still wrapped in plastic, no scratches, dinks, dents, marks.

My question—still happy with decision and purchase—is it normal for something to sort of go wrong or break or have to be ordered and then waited for every day??!! I mean, really, we’ve had family crises and events since we bought. So one quick trip was great but some technical problems. Fine. One thing fixed at dealership but by the time RV was just pulled around to be hitched to our truck something else has now broken. No argument. They are ordering replacement part and will fix, but we still have to get it back to them to take care of this and they are an hour away. This is sort of the same as two other kind of “oops” items over about three months and we’d only taken the RV out on a trip once. Now, on second trip, two Texans in colder-than-Texas-right-now-Nebraska the carbon monoxide alarm won’t shut up. Doors open. No different activity vs prior two nights. Cheese and crackers for dinner. No cooking yet. (No cooking ever so far actually.) Red flashing light finally went to stable green so we closed the doors, completely befuzzled and went to bed. I got up to “pee”, flushed, and carbon monoxide alarm stated screaming again. I opened RV door again. Alarm reset. Finally stopped screaming. Closed door and now (new) turned heat on because this Texan’s feet were COLD. Bam. Carbon monoxide alarm screaming again. You note: no fireplace, no cooking, and heater only turned on with third or fourth event. Currently in bed, cold, heat off, door open, carbon monoxide alarm happy and quiet again.

Two days ago elec and water worked but toilet wouldn’t flush. Today toilet flushes but shower works with LP heat but not electric.

I love it but what gives? Help!
 

Oldgator73

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 28, 2017
Posts
3,511
Welcome to the forum. Yeah, pretty normal for new unit. Might take a year or so to work out the bugs. Once you get them remedied you’ll just have some normal things to work on every time you take her out. Be sure to have tools on hand and roll or two of hundred mph tape (duct tape). I’ve performed several roadside temp repairs with that tape. I carry extra fuses and light bulbs too. If you get into trouble on the road you can always post the problem here and probably get a dozen answers before you can finish a cup of coffee.
 

SeilerBird

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 25, 2012
Posts
16,165
Location
St Cloud Florida USA
Yep it is not easy owning an RV. The whole problem is that once you drive it over any road it will cause a lot of problems. The top of the motorhome gets the worst of it since the top sways a lot more than the bottom. Ceilings develop leaks you can't see until it has done a lot of damage.
 

donn

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 8, 2009
Posts
4,774
RVs like a house on wheels. Learn to be a real jack of all or have deeeeep pockets. Some RVs tend to be a bit more maintenance hungry than others. Newer models it seems quality control has really taken a nose dive.
 

Mark_K5LXP

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Joined
Nov 17, 2018
Posts
1,479
Location
Albuquerque, NM
Some take offense to this comment but I refer to RV's as crappy houses on a delivery truck. Either one is bad enough but then add on the notion it's baked, rained on and frozen outside and endures earthquake grade shock and vibration anytime it's moving. So yes, "ongoing" maintenance and repairs are standard, plus any updates or changes you'd like to have based on your likes and dislikes. I use a spreadsheet to keep tabs on all the "to do's" and service information. It's large.

Mark B.
Albuquerque, NM
 

Kirk

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Joined
Oct 30, 2005
Posts
911
Location
Full-time , Escapee
I love it but what gives? Help!
You need to know that carbon monoxide is not the only thing that will trigger that alarm. Based on your description, I suspect that yours is one of the combo units that has both CO and Propane detectors in a single unit. If so, sewer gas can set it off so if your waste tanks are over full or not venting properly that can cause an alarm. If the furnace had not been used before, they have oil residue and other remains from manufacturing that will set off the alarms when the furnace is used for the first time. The dealer should have warned you of that and most furnace manuals do mention it in their warnings.

As I read the responses to your post, I find myself wondering why some of them even own an RV if their experience is so bad? I guess I must either be a novice (bought my first RV in 1972) or just lucky as I have never had the sort of problems that they describe. RVs do require more maintenance than would a house because they get constant vibration when traveling but, with proper care an preventive maintenance, it is not overwhelming. We bought our current RV new in 2012 and it was #6 that we have owned, 3 used and 3 bought new. Looking at the present RV, it was in storage for a full year during covid and I spent about 6 hours in maintenance when we took it out this spring, then traveled for a 2 week trip with 1 minor repair, then 2 weeks after our return we went out again for a full month and didn't have to repair anything. That has been pretty typical of our experience.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

Site Team
Joined
Feb 2, 2005
Posts
74,574
Location
At our Silver Springs FL home
I was about the say something along the lines of Kirk's post. Are you sure it is CO and not LP alarm? CO detectors are very specific, but LP detectors alarm on any hydrocarbon gas, even dog farts! Sewer gas, out-gassing by charging batteries, exhaust from passing cars, nearby swamps, some kinds of cleaners & solvents, etc. It's also possible for a the sensor on the alarm to get contaminated and give off spurious alarms, or for low voltage to trigger an alarm.
 

Aaron5er

Active member
Joined
Sep 10, 2021
Posts
39
Location
NE Georgia
A house on wheels that shakes, rattles and rolls on the highway will be needing some maintenance attention!
I bought mine for traveling and that's what I do 😁
I'm constantly trying to study and learn on my downtime how to take care of issues myself....
I travel lots of long lonely highways without many services.
 

gfmucci

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 17, 2021
Posts
85
Location
N Central Florida
You need to know that carbon monoxide is not the only thing that will trigger that alarm. Based on your description, I suspect that yours is one of the combo units that has both CO and Propane detectors in a single unit. If so, sewer gas can set it off so if your waste tanks are over full or not venting properly that can cause an alarm. If the furnace had not been used before, they have oil residue and other remains from manufacturing that will set off the alarms when the furnace is used for the first time. The dealer should have warned you of that and most furnace manuals do mention it in their warnings.

As I read the responses to your post, I find myself wondering why some of them even own an RV if their experience is so bad? I guess I must either be a novice (bought my first RV in 1972) or just lucky as I have never had the sort of problems that they describe. RVs do require more maintenance than would a house because they get constant vibration when traveling but, with proper care an preventive maintenance, it is not overwhelming. We bought our current RV new in 2012 and it was #6 that we have owned, 3 used and 3 bought new. Looking at the present RV, it was in storage for a full year during covid and I spent about 6 hours in maintenance when we took it out this spring, then traveled for a 2 week trip with 1 minor repair, then 2 weeks after our return we went out again for a full month and didn't have to repair anything. That has been pretty typical of our experience.
Do some folks exaggerate "for effect" like for the size of fish they caught?

Example: "It got cold inside your RV last night? How cold was it?" "It got so cold that there were icicles hanging from the ceiling...they stayed like that for a month...darned insulation!"
 

Ex-Calif

Well-known member
Joined
May 15, 2020
Posts
1,769
Coming from a commercial aviation background we had something called the watch list or HIL (Hold Item List) - It was maintenance items that could be deferred and not put an airplane out of service.

I'm like Mark. I have a running list of items that should be done. Some are "no dispatch" items that have to be corrected before the next trip.
 

gfmucci

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Joined
Sep 17, 2021
Posts
85
Location
N Central Florida
Not daily, but in Sept, the latch on the bottom drawer busted, and then the
cable carrier busted again so I'm awaiting my dealer's repair slot.
I suppose "the juice is worth the squeeze." Otherwise you guys wouldn't be doing this, right? Otherwise, I'd have to study the several definitions and etymology of "masochist".

My guess is it is the "general use" definition:
  1. a person who derives sexual gratification from their own pain or humiliation.
    "the roles of masochist and mistress"
 

Gary RV_Wizard

Site Team
Joined
Feb 2, 2005
Posts
74,574
Location
At our Silver Springs FL home
Things go wrong around my house too. And in my vehicles. Put a house & a vehicle together and you have the worst of both - a heavily loaded vehicle on a lengthy trip and a house being shaken & rattled for hours on end. So, yeah, stuff breaks, though much of it is only nuisance-level.

I noticed that my fix list was shorter when we began seasonal camping - parking for 3-5 months at a time. Wear & tear goes down, but still not zero or even close to that. Cabinet latches still fail, awnings get damaged, sewer hoses still mysteriously get holes, etc. Always something, it seems.

Is the juice worth the squeeze? I still think so, but I'm the sort of guy who enjoys tinkering so minor repairs are just grist for my mill. If I was the sort who dreaded repairs or had to get a shop or tech to do things, I'd probably have a different attitude.
 

gfmucci

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 17, 2021
Posts
85
Location
N Central Florida
Things go wrong around my house too. And in my vehicles. Put a house & a vehicle together and you have the worst of both - a heavily loaded vehicle on a lengthy trip and a house being shaken & rattled for hours on end. So, yeah, stuff breaks, though much of it is only nuisance-level.

I noticed that my fix list was shorter when we began seasonal camping - parking for 3-5 months at a time. Wear & tear goes down, but still not zero or even close to that. Cabinet latches still fail, awnings get damaged, sewer hoses still mysteriously get holes, etc. Always something, it seems.

Is the juice worth the squeeze? I still think so, but I'm the sort of guy who enjoys tinkering so minor repairs are just grist for my mill. If I was the sort who dreaded repairs or had to get a shop or tech to do things, I'd probably have a different attitude.
Tinkering and fixing things I can do and mostly enjoy. It's the "money pit" and "constant problems" posts that are a put off. I'm the kinda guy who WD40s my door hinges and puts little felt stickies on my cabinet drawers, doors, and room doors to minimize "clunk" sounds. I live in a retirement community that does yard maintenance and I still bought and use a lawn mower and string trimmers.
 

Isaac-1

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 3, 2016
Posts
5,010
Location
SW Louisiana
A problem per day may be excessive, we are on day 8 of a 16 day trip and only one issue has popped up, which will hopefully hold out until we get home to fix, the gear shifter suddenly became stiff to operate on day 4 of the trip driving across Texas on I-20 in 106F degree weather, hopefully it is just the cable sticking, perhaps it got too hot from exhaust heat and melted the cable jacket. Though I don't recall ever taking a trip for longer than a long weekend without something breaking, thankfully in the last 5 years and roughly 25,000 miles we have owned this coach none of the issues have stranded us away from home, but it has been close a time or two, alternator failing 30 miles from home coming back from an 800+ mile trip, etc.
 

IBTripping

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 19, 2018
Posts
1,409
Location
Virginia
It sounds like you are comfortable fixing minor stuff. So, I don't think you need to stress out horriblizing (made up word) the possibilities. It's also true that most new RVs need quite a bit of warranty work. Just the nature of the business right now. Just plan on enjoying your travels knowing that you've got a decent tool kit. If it's something a little more major, we've got the experts here to help.
 

gfmucci

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 17, 2021
Posts
85
Location
N Central Florida
It sounds like you are comfortable fixing minor stuff. So, I don't think you need to stress out horriblizing (made up word) the possibilities. It's also true that most new RVs need quite a bit of warranty work. Just the nature of the business right now. Just plan on enjoying your travels knowing that you've got a decent tool kit. If it's something a little more major, we've got the experts here to help.
Made up words are often more descriptive and helpful than common words. Some of us over-horribilize routine-ish problems that should be expectorated.
 

BDFRY

Member
Joined
Aug 3, 2021
Posts
6
Location
SEBASTIAN
Rented a small tow trailer Oct 2020 as an effort to travel a week in pre-vaccine COVID. Owner was a piece of work and we ended up fixing from our own time, labor and $ something everyday, but still loved the experience and the idea. Well, we were glad once the “experience “ with that owner was over! Took a bit of time with pandemic conditions to find our RV but we finally did. Technically a used RV but could have been sold as new. The bed was still wrapped in plastic, no scratches, dinks, dents, marks.

My question—still happy with decision and purchase—is it normal for something to sort of go wrong or break or have to be ordered and then waited for every day??!! I mean, really, we’ve had family crises and events since we bought. So one quick trip was great but some technical problems. Fine. One thing fixed at dealership but by the time RV was just pulled around to be hitched to our truck something else has now broken. No argument. They are ordering replacement part and will fix, but we still have to get it back to them to take care of this and they are an hour away. This is sort of the same as two other kind of “oops” items over about three months and we’d only taken the RV out on a trip once. Now, on second trip, two Texans in colder-than-Texas-right-now-Nebraska the carbon monoxide alarm won’t shut up. Doors open. No different activity vs prior two nights. Cheese and crackers for dinner. No cooking yet. (No cooking ever so far actually.) Red flashing light finally went to stable green so we closed the doors, completely befuzzled and went to bed. I got up to “pee”, flushed, and carbon monoxide alarm stated screaming again. I opened RV door again. Alarm reset. Finally stopped screaming. Closed door and now (new) turned heat on because this Texan’s feet were COLD. Bam. Carbon monoxide alarm screaming again. You note: no fireplace, no cooking, and heater only turned on with third or fourth event. Currently in bed, cold, heat off, door open, carbon monoxide alarm happy and quiet again.

Two days ago elec and water worked but toilet wouldn’t flush. Today toilet flushes but shower works with LP heat but not electric.

I love it but what gives? Help!
FIRST thing I do. CHANGE the Battery on the Alarm.
If you haven't already done it twice?
Easiest Fix and has worked twice.
In our Case: No Real Alarm, just an Alarm to Re-Battery the Power.
 
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