Dear RV Shrink:
We only use our fifth-wheel a few weeks a year. It is stored outside in the side yard the rest of the time.
I have read in your column women complaining about their husbands constantly working on their RVs. I have just the opposite problem — my husband seems to think everything will fix itself. We are one week into our annual three-week vacation. We are spending it this year under the well-reported heat dome. This is the exact reason we ordered our rig with air conditioning. It would be a wonderful option if it worked.
My husband is now on the roof trying to figure out why the fan will not turn, how to remove the shroud, and complaining about heat stroke. I hate to say “I told you so,” but don’t you think these are issues better solved when you are not on vacation? —Airhead in Appleton
Yes, I agree. It is called precautionary maintenance. The worst thing for recreation vehicles is not recreating. More things go wrong parked than moving. Equipment needs exercise the same as the body. “Use it or lose it.”
Once your husband figures out how to remove the shroud, my guess would be that insects have likely built a nest around your fan blade. This is very common if a unit has sat idle outside for long periods of time.
You should fire things up a few times a year. Spend a weekend living in your RV in the backyard now and then. That will force you to use all your systems: gas, water, waste, refrigeration and, yes, air conditioning.
If you have a generator, fire it up and put it under a load — I’m thinking the air conditioner. Another common problem is plumbing seals drying out, awnings rotting from condensation, critters moving in and chewing wires, insects nesting, tires checking.
Protect your investment with a little TLC and you will have less hassle when you do finally get a chance to take it on the road and enjoy it.
As I have said before, my wife used to go for handsome, now she goes for handy! —Keep Smilin’, RV Shrink