This week was one of those weeks where our idyllic lifestyle of sightseeing and playing in beautiful places had to be put on hold while we took care of some important repairs on our fifth wheel trailer. We have been waiting for these repairs since we were in Nova Scotia three months ago where the rough roads bent an axle on our trailer and caused a leak in our fresh water holding tank.
We were able to replace our trailer axle in Maine over two months ago at Harvey RVs, an outstanding RV repair facility in Bangor. Unfortunately, they did not have a fresh water tank in stock that would fit our trailer. I doubt any RV repair facility would stock such a tank, as they are generally custom made to fit between the floor joists, with fixtures and plumbing connections placed in locations that are unique to each RV.
So, we decided to return to Chanute, Kansas, where our trailer was built in 2007, to have the fresh water tank replacement done at the NuWa service center. We were assured they had the proper fresh water tank in stock.
Since we were relying on our RV extended warranty to cover the fresh water tank replacement cost, we decided to have a few other broken things taken care of at the same time. We had been living with these broken items for a while, as they weren’t too critical, but because each one qualified to be repaired under warranty, we could bundle the repairs together and get them all fixed at once while paying just one warranty deductible for everything.
The day of our repair appointment in Kansas finally came on Monday this week, and we have had a whirlwind (tornado?) of a week as we watched and assisted as many as five mechanics working on our rig at once, all day long, for three days. To add to our own personal confusion, we had to move out of our trailer and into a motel for a few days.
All of our repairs were related to water in some way, with most of them having to do with either our fresh water or sewer water plumbing systems. For the entire job, our precious rolling home straddled an open grate in the floor that serves as the RV dump station for the shop. This is where they fix clogged black tanks and replace broken ones. They had just replaced five black tanks the week before we got there!
This meant that for three days both we and the mechanics were lying on and scooting around on the (often wet) floor that was layered with who knows what kind of muck, from who knows whose rigs.
Of course, most people don’t hang out with their mechanics when their RV is being worked on, but we were with them every step of the way. We learned a lot about how RVs are put together, and we were able to catch quite a few bloopers that would have bitten us big time down the road.
Being present throughout the repair process ensured us that everything was installed correctly using best practices (i.e., using teflon tape and hose clamps where needed, installing all the o-rings that came with the replacement parts not just some of them, and testing each repair after it was finished). Several projects on our list were done two or three times to get them to 100%.
This was awesome for us in the long run, because we knew our repairs were being done well, but it was exhausting to live through. Needless to say, there wasn’t any creative writing or blogging going on!
But life is groovy once again and our buggy is back together and fully functional. NuWa provides an awesome cleaning service after a repair job, and Sharon did a terrific job making sure our living areas were clean before we left. Once we were back in the wonderful (and nearly free) city RV park, we followed her lead and shampooed the carpets and detailed the exterior of the rig too.
With this big interruption behind us, and with a huge sigh of relief, we are now planning to leave Kansas in our wake and head south through Oklahoma and Texas over the next few weeks before turning west. Yay!
Oh yes — and that Trailer Warranty we have through Wholesale Warranties? What great fortune that we had it, as these repairs came to $1,242, and all we had to pay was the $100 deductible.
Note added later: Sadly, we had another major repair waiting for us just a few weeks in the future when our trailer suspension failed when we got to Phoenix, Arizona for the holidays. Here’s how the warranty has worked for us to date:
If you are thinking about getting a warranty for your trailer or motorhome, Wholesale Warranties is offering a $50 discount to our readers. Just mention that you heard about them from our website, Roads Less Traveled, and the discount will come off the quoted price at the time of purchase. You can get a quote from them here:
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Similar stories of our adventures with RV repairs and installations:
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- RV refrigerator replacement – Another snappy job using the fridge-through-window technique
- Fifth wheel trailer axle replacement – We get a nifty new axle and our disc brakes are transferred over too
- RV toilet replacement – the Royal Flush! – Our toilet quit flushing (ugh!) so we got a sparkling new one!
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