11 Jan RV oops (part 3)
Here are some of the biggest blunders as told by some caravaners.
Best before date…
Arthur was driving his Class A along a freeway when boom, the sound of a cannon reverberated in the back of his motorhome. Pulling over, he found that one rear tire had exploded, throwing a chunk of rubber through the wheel well, damaging an interior cabinet.
With his flashers on, he drove slowly to the nearest tire shop, where the salesman recommended he replace all six tires. “Why all six when the tread is like new?” Arthur asked. “Because they are 10 years old. Most tire manufacturers recommend changing them after six or seven years, regardless of tread wear.”
Arthur occasionally checked his tires for inflation, cracks,and tread wear but never for age. He assumed that by using his motorhome only during the summer months, his tires should last longer. Not so, he learned from the salesman. “Tires which sit for extended periods, especially on damp ground and in direct sunlight, will deteriorate quicker than those used regularly.”
Helpful hint: A tire’s age can be determined by the last four digits of the DOT code. For example, with a code of 4217,the first two digits refer to the week of manufacture and the last two digits refer to the year… the 42nd week of 2017.
Jim and his wife had been boondocking in their Class C for a couple of days before arriving at an RV park.
Friends had invited them to dinner, so they immediately spruced up upon arrival. Since he had some time before dinner, Jim decided to hook up the sewer hose to drain the black and grey water tanks. He got out the hose and inserted one end into the sewer drain.
Holding the other end, he rotated the cap from the discharge pipe. Woosh! Black water shot out all over Jim, who didn’t even try to attach the hose until the gusher decreased to a dribble.
Jim sheepishly admitted he “forgot to close the black-water valve while they were dry camping” and added, “We were late for dinner!”
Helpful hint: In addition to a black-water valve, it’s prudent to have a separate gate valve at the end of the discharge pipe, which is kept closed when boondocking and in transit.
Things that go bump in the night
Greg’s relatively new Class A had a large awning, which automatically retracted when it got windy. An anemometer (wind speed indicator), mounted on a pole attached to the roof, sent a signal to the awning motor if the wind speed exceeded a preset value. Greg said he enjoyed this feature if the wind picked up when he wasn’t around, but not so much when he was barbequing under the awning on a rainy day!
On one of their frequent trips to a state park for a weekend of relaxation, he and his wife arrived just after dark and chose a site, which looked suitable for their coach. With his wife as a spotter at the rear, he backed into the site. Just as he cleared the road, they both heard a CLUNK sound coming from the roof. Upon inspection, they noticed a low tree branch touching the roof, which they assumed had collided with their air conditioner. No worries, Greg said he would check it in the morning.
Later that night, it started raining heavily. When they woke up, water was dripping from several ceiling lights in the salon and bedroom. To protect the carpets, they put pans under the drips and emptied them regularly… hardly the relaxing weekend they had anticipated.
When the rain finally stopped in late afternoon, Greg climbed up on the roof and saw that the low branch had knocked down his anemometer pole leaving a depression and a hole in the roof. Rain had collected in the depression and ran through the hole onto the ceiling of their coach.
After covering the hole with duct tape, they packed up and returned home. Their RV dealer reattached the anemometer and replaced the entire ceiling, which was costly but covered by insurance since the loss was “sudden and accidental.”
Helpful hint: A spotter should look up as well as on the sides and back of the rig to ensure adequate clearance when backing into a campsite. Low branches are especially problematic in smaller and more primitive campgrounds such as state parks.