Post trip update!
Thanks to many of you for weighing in before we left on our 3 week newbie adventure from Seattle to Montana to Utah and back - your suggestions were super helpful. Here’s our post trip update with a few questions.
1. Many many humble rv newbie moments occurred - in case it helps other newbies, I will list them here: a) if you ever have a hard time figuring out why your coupler isn’t sitting correctly on your hitch ball, perhaps unlock the coupler lock - just a friendly suggestion.
we forgot to do just that when we had to check out at 11 and could not for the life of us figure out why it wouldn’t seat properly. b) make sure to pull over to the left lane if you pass a stopped vehicle on the shoulder even if you’re a newbie and it’s scary at first to change lanes quickly. We got pulled over and ticketed) c) when you inevitably go over a curb and you hear a loud beeping, definitely explore further and you might find an rv covered in wine and olive oil and the propane leak detector very very offended it got a snoot full of Malbec. Just hypothetically speaking… d) make sure your hands stay completely off that tongue jack until you’ve lifted your stabilizer feet. We didn’t do that 2 times and luckily realized it before we crushed them. e) if you feel super super lucky because you got the very last spot at Dead Horse State Park in Moab, make sure you check that you didn’t accidentally get reservations at the *other* Dead Horse State Park in Arizona cause that’s not where you wanted to go. Apparently we didn't notice that there is a Dead Horse Ranch State park and a Dead Horse Point State Park - not the same and I just realized now one of you beautiful people mentioned that on our initial post and we missed the reply. Whoops!
2. Many many things failed or broke or went sideways - is this normal? Did we get a lemon? Is this how we learn how to be flexible zen masters? The day we picked up our used Airstream (certified preowned!) at the dealer the converter failed and had to be replaced and then a tire seized when we were testing the braking. That got fixed then we were on our trip, 4 hours later than planned. One day in…. a) the lift motor on our fantastic fan crapped out and kept blowing fuses. there are no new lift motors to be had and Airstream is backordered. We used the manual override to get the lid up so we could use it. b) our water pump makes a holy racket and our lights flicker when it’s on (off shore power). we had a mobile rv repair guy come look and he checked the wires (fine) and he checked the pump (looked fine) but he noticed that our Zamp solar controller box was broken and he guessed that off shore power our batteries didn’t have enough juice to run the water pump without affecting the lights. We later replaced the controller box and …. still have a clanging water pump and flickering LEDs. c) we sprung a leak! Luckily over our toilet, which seemed lucky in a string of unlucky. Different repair guy in Utah sealed the bathroom vent but left the lowest side of it unsealed to “let any water inside out” this made sense at the time and now doesn’t make any sense at all.
3. So now we are home and are putting the rig on Whidbey Island for the winter but we will be going to stay in it one weekend a month or maybe two — What do you all think about winterizing for a Pacific Northwest winter where it sometimes goes below freezing? Should we put antifreeze in the pipes then flush it for the weekend we are there and then re-antifreeze? Any other winterizing that is necessary when we will be there every few weeks? And we won’t have hook ups where it’s being housed - do any of you have suggestions for mobile black and gray dump containers that we can put in our truck and take to a dump station? Last question — we don’t yet have electricity where it will be housed and it’s the PNW so the solar panels might not be charging the battery - should we get a trickle charger for the batteries?
thanks for any advice and help!